What The 76ers Rotational Change Means Moving Forward
Coach Brett Brown has made some drastic changes ahead of the restart
- The Philadelphia 76ers starting unit will look completely different once their 2019-20 campaign resumes in Orlando on August 1st. Head coach Brett Brown has decided to tweak his lineup for the stretch run of the regular-season.
- The main change lies in the presence of Shake Milton, moving Ben Simmons to the power forward role and sending Al Horford to the bench.
- The 76ers have a 39-26 record and rank sixth in the Eastern Conference. They are +800 to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals and are +2000 to win it all, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Philadelphia's first game is against the Indiana Pacers. Go to our game predictions page to see which bet our NBA model likes most when the two battle this Saturday!
Shaking Up First And Second Team Units
The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the biggest disappointments of the 2019-20 regular-season before the league was suspended in March. Philadelphia was one of the contending teams in the Eastern Conference, but they stumbled their way to a 39-26 record. That was the sixth-best mark in the conference back in March.
That’s why head coach Brett Brown has decided to make adjustments, both down the stretch and ahead of the 2019-20 playoffs. The most significant change will come in the starting lineup, as Brown will replace veteran center Al Horford with speedy point guard Shake Milton. How does this affect the 76ers moving forward?
Brown will now start Milton alongside Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid. This change will have a direct effect on Simmons, as he will move from the point guard role to power forward. Granted, the Australian will still have the ball in his hands most of the time while working as a point forward. However, the big difference is that he won’t be the lone responsible for orchestrating the offense.
The group of Milton, Richardson, Harris, Simmons, and Embiid has never played together. Unfortunately, the four-man combo of Milton, Harris, Simmons, and Embiid have registered a disastrous -11.5 net rating. It’s hardly a weak lineup, but the net rating leaves some lingering concern for now.
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High Regards With Bookies
Simmons will do what he does best, attacking the paint or creating space depending on what the defense gives him. Embiid will have free space to roam in the paint and Harris will work as a slasher in his small forward role. Milton can offer excellent ball-handling skills and vision, while Richardson can be a capable threat from deep.
Plus, the presence of Horford in a sixth-man role solidifies the Sixers second unit. He can work as the main scoring threat off the bench, but he is more than adept at fulfilling a defensive role in crunch time. Horford is not going to get his minutes phased out. He is merely moving to a different role, one where he won’t always be colliding with Embiid on both ends of the court.
Despite the drastic changes, the subpar record, and the fact that the Sixers may not climb to the top-four spots in the East, the market still believes they can make a run at the title. Their +2000 odds to win the NBA Championship are the fourth-best among Eastern Conference teams, solely behind the Milwaukee Bucks (+250), the reigning champion Toronto Raptors (+1800), and the Boston Celtics (+2000), per DraftKings Sportsbook.
It remains to be seen whether this change will benefit the 76ers. However, on paper, it seems like a definite step in the right direction to maximize the team’s strengths, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
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