The season is young, but small cracks have caused Philadelphia 76ers fans to erupt. Let’s take it all in and breathe for a second.
It’s no surprise that the city is anxious. Primarily built as a football town, Philadelphia is often critical of its non-football teams the same way. Every game is life or death. But every team has context, especially the Philadelphia 76ers. There are myriad factors that affect the outcome of a single game, and there are 82 of said games in a season.
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It’s understandable to get upset because the Sixers are competing for a championship, but putting everything in perspective is important during the six-month slog that is the regular season.
To start, let’s address a common theme with the 76ers over the past few seasons: roster turnover. Even as Joel Embiid propelled Philly out of the NBA’s doldrums, the supporting cast around him and Ben Simmons was always in flux.
Embiid’s rookie season included Sergio Rodriguez and Gerald Henderson in the starting lineup. The following season (Simmons’ rookie year), the team was so thin that its best two backups came via the February buyout period.
Last season saw everything around them change even more, with J.J. Redick being the only other rotation player to make it through the whole season (and now he’s gone too).
This roster was just put together over the summer, and the iterations prior were not aligned for longer than a few months. There is a lot to work out, but it should come much easier than it did in seasons’ past.