The Sixers are 6-1, sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference. However, as impressive as their start of the season has been, let's not get ahead of ourselves -- it's still too soon to label Philadelphia as 20/21 championship contenders.
They are a ‘wait-and-see’ team. Wait and see if it pans out. Everyone is optimistic the first 10 games, especially when you get off to a hot start. Everyone is super optimistic on the honeymoon, but 50% of marriages end in divorce. They are in their honeymoon phase.
Richard Jefferson, The Lowe Post
I would argue the Sixers are way past a honeymoon phase. They are making a last-ditch effort to save their years-long marriage before they are forced to move on. If their efforts prove to be in vain, they'll have to part ways with either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. But if the trajectory of the Sixers' hot start continues, there may be hope for the commitment with the two to continue.
One thing's for sure; had it not been for Doc Rivers, 76ers would've already signed the divorce papers. After Daryl Morey reshaped the roster, Doc implemented a system predicated on the defensive side of the floor, and upstroke for the 76ers is this.
The question with Philadelphia has always been can Embiid and Simmons coexist on the offensive end. However, Doc has a different approach. Instead of trying to cut that Gordian knot, he's utilizing the team's defensive potential and learning on the go what offensive schemes will be best to implement. In the meantime, Ben Simmons acts as Rivers' extended arm, orchestrating the Sixers' free-flowing offense and having the freedom to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And a 6-10 point guard loves it.
I think that’s the good thing with Doc; he allows me to make the right reads. He’s gonna tell me if there’s a certain spot he thinks I should get to. If I don’t do something, whether it’s cut or slash, or just spacing-wise. I think I have that freedom.
Ben Simmons, Sixers Wire
So far, the Sixers are a mid-tier offensive team -- #13 in Effective Field Goal Percentage (.471), #15 in Offensive Rating (108.9), and #11 in Pace (101.9). They beat New York, Washington, Toronto, Orlando, and Charlotte twice, none of which are elite NBA teams. But the fact two of those wins were on the road may be enough to make fans optimistic about their team finally overachieving with both Simmons and Embiid on the roster.
Roughly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Seven games into the 20/21 NBA season, there's a glimmer of hope that Philadelphia and one of their two star players won't become a statistic. If you are a Sixers' fan, this early into the season, that should be good enough.