Trusting the Process: Is Philly Finally Seeing Success or Continuing in Mediocrity
Written By Daniel Haynes
“Trust the Process”, it’s the three-word chant every Philadelphia 76er fan and basketball spectator knows by heart, and why wouldn’t they? For three years the National Basketball Association (NBA) saw the Philadelphia 76ers be the worst team in the NBA under general manager Sam Hinkie. The team lost more games than any other team, broke the NBA’s record for consecutive games lost and became the second worst NBA team of all time. Now, years apart from the initial decision to tank and build through the draft, Philly could be one of the teams to watch in the East.
First off take a look at the young talent on the team, lead off by Joel Embiid, who is perhaps the embodiment of the plan to trust the process- (he has of course nicknamed himself “The Process”). He stands over 7 feet, has the ability to play with his back to the basket, his front to the basket and he can spot up from three. Embiid averaged 20.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists despite only playing 31 games last season, had he not gotten injured he would’ve been the clear pick for Rookie of the Year. However, he is joined by No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, a 6-foot 10-inch guard, who many think resembles Lebron James. It’ll be interesting to see how Simmons transitions into the NBA after missing his first year with a broken bone in his foot.
Also with him is this year’s No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, who was possibly the most NBA ready player in the draft. Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebound and 5.9 assists at Washington. Standing beside these three is recently signed free agent JJ Reddick, whose ability to shoot the ball fits right with a Simmons’ readiness to pass the ball. Despite being 33, Reddick averaged 15 points per game for the Clippers last season while shooting 42.9 percent from three. Having Simmons facilitating with Fultz alongside him and Embiid as the number one option could be something fun to watch.
However, hurdles to their success will see how Simmons will score in the half court: he’s a natural facilitator but he lacks a pull-up and step back jumper, an isolation game and does not have an advanced post game. Added to the difficulties Philly will face is the fact that Fultz will transition into an off the ball option versus being the dominant ball handler and scorer he was in college. Seeing how Fultz adapts to this role and finds new ways to be successful will be crucial for Philly. Yet, with a starting roster made up of Fultz, Reddick, Simmons, and Embiid, 76ers fans are looking forward to success to pay off this year, and hopefully a playoff spot. This season will definitely be the telling season, and after winning only 75 games in 4 years, it is hoped “the process” is near its end.