• Important Championship Pieces

    Talking about important pieces to a Sixers championship when the team is 18-29 and years away from a title is odd, but I will anyways.

    Over the past month, the Sixers have won 10 games and 3 of them came without Joel Embiid, so I was more impressed with those.  In particular, their wins against the Clippers and the Kings where they trailed by double-digits and would have folded in years past.  In these games without Embiid, you can start to get a sense of who is worthy of keeping around and who does not have a future past this season.  The three players that have stuck out the most have been Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell, and Dario Saric.

    Every championship team needs a player like a Robert Covington.  Covington, whether he starts in the future or comes off the bench, brings elite level perimeter defense as well as a solid, yet inconsistent, three-point shot.  I know, he is shooting 31 percent from three this year, but everyone has down seasons shooting.  But looking at the past two seasons with the Sixers, he has shot 36 percent on nearly 1000 attempts, which is a sample size I trust much more than the 263 threes he has shot this year.  Even when his shot isn’t falling, you can always rely on him making life tough for the other team’s best wing player, with his team leading 2.0 defensive win shares which lies just outside of top 20 in the league.  It is incredibly baffling how a guy who brings this level of defense gets booed.  He just wants to be loved!

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    Dario Saric is that player that everyone and their mother will say is underrated (kinda like Mike Conley the past 5 years) making him not underrated at all, but just a good player.  Read that again because I just confused myself.  Anyone who watched Saric play in the Olympics knows that the best part of his game is his court vision and passing, which has really picked up the last month as he has gotten more comfortable.  He is a swiss (or Croatian) army knife off the bench that is a threat to score both inside and outside and will do the dirty work on the glass.  He has also been known to protect the rim now and again.  He would win Rookie of the Year if it wasn’t for Joel Embiid.

    Gritty. Tough. Scrappy. Brings his lunch pail to work.  First guy in the gym and the last one to leave. Great basketball I.Q.  Am I missing any other stereotypical adjectives to describe a white point guard in the NBA?  Well T.J. McConnell is all of these things and is averaging more assists per game than Steph Curry.  Oh, and LeBron James wanted him!  That is the true validation of a championship level backup point guard.  These three players all bring a specific role that championship teams need.

    Sure, every team needs a star player, but you also need your Bruce Bowen‘s, Matt Dellavedova’s and Robert Horry‘s.  That is what these three men represent for future Sixers contenders.

    Charles Scalies

    Finance major at Saint Joseph's University and biggest advocate for Jakarr Sampson on the internet today

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