Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler

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5 thoughts on Sixers' new lineup

Andrew Porter
February 14, 2019 - 10:18 am

The Sixers are 3-1 since acquiring Tobias Harris, with the lone loss being a three-point defeat to the Boston Celtics. The three wins have come by seven, 23, and 15 points. 

Here are some thoughts on the new look Sixers. 

1. Balance

Through four games, here are the numbers (h/t reddit):

Joel Embiid: 34.0 minutes, 47% FG, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 25.3 points

JJ Redick: 32.5 minutes, 55% FG, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 21.5 points

Jimmy Butler: 34.3 minutes, 57% FG, 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 18.0 points

Tobias Harris: 32.8 minutes, 52% FG, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 17.8 points

Ben Simmons: 33.0 minutes, 51% FG, 4.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 13.5 points

Bench: 56% FG, 10.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 27.8 points

2. Ben Simmons

Since acquiring, Tobias Harris, Simmons' game has suffered the most. His numbers are down across the board, especially assists, which have dropped almost two per game. Without guys like Landry Shamet and Mike Muscala, and with Harris—who can create for himself off of the dribble—assists are naturally harder to come by. 

Simmons also attempted his first three over these past four games, so his game certainly seems to be evolving the most. I'd like to see his minutes up, around 36, 37 per game as we get closer to the playoffs where the starters should be closer to 40 minutes per game. 

3. Tobias Harris

Harris is silky smooth offensively and is fitting in nicely, shooting 52-percent from the field and averaging 17.8 points per game in his first four as a Sixer. He did have the deer in headlights look against the Celtics, where he shot 4-14 FG and 0-6 from three, so experience will be big for him. He doesn't have much (any?) big game experience. 

4. Defense

The Sixers are allowing 113.25 points per game since the Harris acquisition, which would be in the bottom half of the league. Individually, everybody except Redick is a plus defender, so I expect them to get better and better defensively as the season progresses. Simmons, Butler, and Harris can pretty much switch everything, which will be really valuable come playoff time. 

5. Coming up

After the all-star break the Sixers' schedule doesn't get easy. They host Miami and Portland before heading to New Orleans and Oklahoma City, and then coming back home for Golden State. That's three of the top four Western Conference teams over a five-game span.