Despite the Philadelphia 76ers being one of a few teams capable of winning a championship, there are some major questions that will need to be answered before they can be penciled into the Finals.
More specifically, who will be relied on to close out games now that Jimmy Butler’s gone?
Toward the end of last season Butler was the primary ball-handler and shot taker at the end of games.
With Butler leaving for the Heat in free agency, that role will need to be filled with other players.
Several different options
But perhaps it can be a committee of players instead of just one go-to guy.
Harris said he doesn’t believe the team will need a designated closer.
“Obviously, we have a lot of talent on this team, so everybody wants to know who the go-to guy is, but to be honest it’s going to be whoever has it going,” Harris said to NBC Sports.
Matchups could dictate who will have the ball during closing time.
“We have the best center in the game, we have one of the best players in the game in Ben Simmons who creates a lot of mismatches too,” Harris said. “On a nightly basis, we’re going to have different matchups to go to.”
Having several different players who could get the ball in those situations, could make the Sixers starting lineup even scarier to go against.
What’s the worst case scenario?
What happens if the go-to guy committee of Embiid, Simmons and Harris doesn’t prove to be a viable option?
Usually, the best player should be handling the ball and taking the most important shots.
But the Sixers best player is a center, which makes the decision less clear and obvious.
Embiid’s strengths don’t include taking the ball up court and breaking down defenders off the dribble.
Plus, if Simmons doesn’t take a step forward with his jump shot it makes it much more difficult for him to posses the ball.
You’d certainly wouldn’t want him to be in situations where he’ shooting important free throws or being forced to take shots outside the paint.
Harris could become the go-to guy due to a lack of other options.
Maybe the $180 million man will thrive in the role and it won’t be an issue but there’s a chance he doesn’t.
We haven’t seen him in those types of high-pressure situations with the Sixers yet.
This will be a lingering question until someone proves they can handle the responsibility.
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