I remember draft day when the 76ers got their hands on Jahlil Okafor. The mood was good among Philadelphia fans as they got their hands on a big man coming off a championship season with Duke University. I don’t think anyone in Philly thought he’s turn out to be their only good player this season. Disaster.
They have begun their season 0-13. Not one win to their name. They are averaging just 90 points a game in this early stage of the season. The reason that they aren’t winning is because they don’t have guards that can score! The 3 leading scorers so far are big men! Okafor (C) leads the scoring with 18 points per, Nerlens Noel (PF) is second with 11 points a game and Jerami Grant (SF) is third adding 10 points a game so far.
Despite the terrible start, there are some positives. Okafor has started the season well. Considering he is a rookie, and he’s had to come in and so far play the most minutes each night (33) which is more than any other 76er, he has done a good job. He has had to learn quickly, and he doesn’t have an all-star mentor like any of the other top 4 picks. Karl Anthony-Towns is working with Kevin Garnett, D’Angelo Russell is learning from Kobe, and Kristapz Porzingis is being mentored by Carmelo Anthony. Okafor doesn’t have a player to learn from like the others do.
Another of the very short list of positives is that the train-wreck they are having this year is setting them up for a certain top 3 draft pick next season. The players going into next years draft are very good, with the likes of Ben Simmons (LSU), Skal Labissiere (Kentucky), Jaylen Brown (California) and Jamal Murray (Kentucky) all likely to be in the mix next summer. I can’t see Philly’s season getting much better so the 76er fans should be looking towards next years draft as a time of hope.
The next question is when will Philadelphia actually win? We all knew that going into the season they were going to struggle, but they have been terrible. Tonight they take on Miami in the second of their 6 game road trip. A good battle is set to commence between Whiteside and Okafor in this one. After Miami they travel to Minnesota who haven’t won at home in their last 13 attempts! So it’s an opportunity for Philadelphia to turn up and grab their first win, and also a very good opportunity for the Timberwolves to break that streak. Let’s not forget in that game it will be the 1st pick taking on the 3rd, when Towns faces off with Okafor for the first time since they’ve been drafted.
My final question is this…How many wins will Philadelphia finish up the season with? At the moment I can’t even see them winning 10 which is simply unheard of in this league. Chances are they’ll finish up with somewhere between 10 and 20 wins, but they need to do something. Personally, I still think the reason they are losing is because they lack scorers in the backcourt, and there isn’t a consistent scorer other than the rookie Okafor.
Ultimately, for Philadelphia it’s going to be a very long season, and the fans are going to have to really show their loyalty to their team by turning up each night and getting behind them.
Or they could just hibernate until the draft next summer, which is what I assume they will do…