The Philadelphia 76ers, like most NBA teams, have weaknesses and shortcomings when it comes to the players on the roster.
The depth is questionable, and the team is trying to integrate all-star Jimmy Butler into the rotation.
Their 21-12 record isn’t one to panic about or to be discouraged by, but they have yet to get their “signature win.”
Winless against the best
Against the Celtics, Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia is a combined 0-4. All four losses have been by double digits.
The schedule will get tougher as the second half of the season approaches, so improvement must be shown in order to move up the standings.
The next two games are a great chance to break that trend and build their resume.
On Dec. 22, the 76ers will host the Raptors at the Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers played considerably better against the Raptors in their second meeting this season when Butler scored 38 points.
Joel Embiid played 36 minutes and scored 10 points. That performance could be considered his worst of his young career.
Look for the 76ers to play even better at home and for Embiid to seek revenge for his poor play on Dec. 5 in a 113-102 loss.
Another trip to Boston
Their next game will be on Christmas in Boston to face the Celtics.
On opening night, the Celtics cruised passed the 76ers, 105-87, and once again overwhelmed the 76ers on defense.
But these teams have changed since their last meeting in October. This will be the first installment in this rivalry with Butler involved.
The 76ers have struggled getting offensive production from any player outside of Embiid against Boston. Butler will need to do his best to create shots off the dribble to set up J.J. Redick and others for easy looks.
We will see how much closer the 76ers are to the Celtics with Butler. It helps the Celtics have yet to live up to expectations this season.
The next two games will tell how much work this 76ers team still needs to do if they plan on reaching the NBA Finals this year.
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