The Philadelphia 76ers are 14-16 and have lost six of its last seven games.
Most of those games have been without Joel Embiid.
Fans are furious (rightfully so) that the team continues to lose game to sub .500 teams and have struggled on both offense and defense.
But there is a very simple explanation for the hopelessness many of us feel right now.
The Embiid factor
It’s not secret a secret Embiid is the driving force of the team.
He is a dominant force, and he brings a certain something that few players possess.
He just makes this team more confident, which perhaps is the biggest thing this team misses when he is not in the lineup.
Nobody has stepped up in his absence and made plays to help win basketball games and the energy he brings cannot be matched.
Plus, the team is built around him and without a dominant center in the paint, everything else falls apart.
The only way the Sixers get out of this slump is when he returns.
Time to step up Simmons
When the game ended he had five shots. That’s just not good enough for a player of his caliber. Without Embiid, Simmons needs to stay ultra aggressive and continue to do his thing each and every night.
Early in the season he showed the ability to drive into the paint for easy buckets but that is gone. Maybe that’s the result of not having Embiid or maybe he just doesn’t stay consistently aggressive.
He needs to find where his aggressiveness went and how to bring it back.