55 wins, 17 losses, losing the Eastern Conference finals in 6 games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Joel Embiid. Whilst his perimeter shooting is still a little lacklustre (30% last season), the fact that he is willing to shoot them means the defence has to respect him, spacing out the floor for Ben Simmons and co to operate in. He was also in the running for Defensive Player of the year (1.9 blocks and 0.7 steals per game) and has made the last 2 All-Defensive 2nd teams, including his rookie season. He is also a force in the post, with his huge frame and excellent footwork, he is nearly unstoppable both in scoring (27.5 points per game) and rebounding (13.6 total, 11.1 defensive and 2.5 offensive per game).
The only question is if he can stay healthy. Embiid hasn’t played more than 64 games in a season and his injury history is extensive. This season he has the opportunity to cement his place as the best big man in the league and he should absolutely take it.
Golden Nugget Player (Most improved or unknown breakout)
Josh Richardson, one of the more underrated signings of this madhouse free agency period. He has spent the last 4 years in Miami, where he has shown steady improvement but no breakout performances. He will be a welcome upgrade on JJ Redick. Richardson may not be the pure shooter that JJ is, but his size, youth and secondary ball handling ability more than make up for it.
Richardson’s numbers may not drastically increase this season as he’ll be playing behind Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Tobias Harris but there should be easy buckets available on the perimeter. He should also have the chance to run the bench team as a secondary ball handler and primary scorer, especially with the lack of immediate scoring options available in the very young second unit.
Who is the coach and are they good
Brett Brown, he suffered through ‘The Process’ and is now reaping the rewards of one of the strongest Sixers teams in recent memory. He’s contracted until the 2021-22 season so Elton Brand and the management see his value in his strategic advice.
But is he good?
Well you can’t judge him on his win loss record, being the coach of a team that was tanking, but some critics believe that the roster that was built last season should have been in the finals or at least contending in the ECF. This season will be a good judge of character, with a very strong roster from the start of the season and an Eastern conference that is wide-open for the taking.