The Philadelphia 76ers will go as far as there two best players will take them. Both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were challenged during the playoffs by fans, former players and media to take the next step in their development and maturity.
Embiid received criticism during the Raptors series for not properly taking care of his body via his diet. He battled stomach issues the entire playoffs and didn’t look healthy when they needed him the most.
Simmons has been criticized for not having a serviceable jump shot. As a result, Jimmy Butler took over the offense at the end of games. But perhaps they got tired of hearing the doubts resulting in a different strategy now compared to previous years.
Different feel to this offseason
Embiid and Simmons have had two different offseason approaches. Embiid has remained low-key since the season ended, not posting much to social media about what he’s been up too. In previous years, Embiid has not shied away from the spotlight. For example, last offseason he made several appearances in pickup games in South Philadelphia with the fans.
Could the new approach be an indication he’s more serious about the upcoming season or something else? We’ll find out once the season starts but for right now it can’t be defined as good or bad that he changed his offseason behavior.
Meanwhile, Simmons has been active on social media and his pickup games in Los Angeles have been well documented. Several clips showing Simmons shooting jump shots in games have been released throughout the offseason.
Now we need to see him bring this approach into the season before we can truly celebrate but it’s encouraging to see him shooting. Like Embiid, this is a new approach to the offseason for Simmons.
We haven’t seen constant videos of Simmons shooting in the past, especially in a pickup game. Releasing these videos indicates he has confidence in the shot and will try to incorporate it into his game when the games count.
If so, we will look back at this offseason as a big part of his development. But for now, it’s still a wait and see situation.
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