With Summer League being less than enthralling and the free agency extravaganza basically over, news seems to be slowing down a bit in Sixers land. But that of course does not mean that there isn’t plenty to talk about.
One area of consideration that has been on my mind is the Sixers’ potential lineups. The team has some continuity, but there’s also a few new faces who are primed to be heavily involved in the Sixers’ offense, and I’m interested to see how creative Brett Brown can get.
To provide a quick recap of some changes, the Sixers:
- brought in Al Horford, who plays the same position as the team’s best player
- traded for Josh Richardson, who can initiate offense a bit but looked a overwhelmed at times as the Miami Heat’s primary initiator last season
- signed a single point guard, who is the only pure point guard on the roster and who has not played in more than 47 games or more than 12.8 minutes per game in any of the last three seasons
- drafted Matisse Thybulle
The Sixers have not emphasized off-the-dribble scoring or creation very much (although Richardson and Tobias Harris should both be more than willing to score off the bounce), instead building an identity on being LARGE and playing strong defense. Their roster at the moment, which is likely to see only slight changes between now and 2019-20’s season opener, is constructed as so:
Zhaire Smith/Vet. Minimum signing (Hello Thabo Sefolosha or Kyle Korver)
James Ennis III
Vet. Minimum signing/Zhaire Smith
Vet. Minimum signing*
*I have this slotted in at what would be the 3rd team center, but given that Bolden could play some center (even though I don’t believe he should) and Pelle is on a two-way, the Sixers may use their final two roster spots on a wing and ball-handler combo, ignoring adding another big. They may also opt to carry only 14 players rather than 15, in which case they’d add just one more player.
So, with the roster nearly complete, I ask you: what Sixers lineups do you want to see next season?
I’ll start. I’d like Brett Brown to use a killer transition lineup at some point next season that can just run teams to death. I’m envisioning Zhaire Smith-Josh Richardson-Matisse Thybulle-Ben Simmons-Al Horford. With two rookies and a non-shooter in Ben Simmons, this lineup might struggle offensively at times. But Josh Richardson can create some, and the whole purpose of this lineup anyway would be to limit halfcourt possessions and instead grab and go at every opportunity. Ben Simmons and Zhaire Smith can establish an above the rim game with lobs on lobs, Horford will always make the right pass, and Richardson and Thybulle can spot up in the corners. Defensively, this lineup could not only suffice but maybe even thrive.
What say you?
This is a Liberty Ballers open thread. Feel free to discuss the prompt or whatever else is on your mind.