No doubt about it, the Sixers got outplayed by Boston in the playoffs - and last year's draft.
The Sixers left TD Garden with a stinging disappointment after losing their second-round series 4-1 to the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier celebrates after a driving to the basket late in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of an NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Wednesday. "We've got to learn from it". We're going to be fine. "I feel like there are still ways to get better".
"It just takes time, shooting the ball", Simmons said.
"Me and Ben have a lot of room to grow", Embiid said. I'm with my team. "I want to win".
The Sixers won 52 games this season. We all gotta play well together. Throughout the regular season, asking him about his reticence to shoot was one of the few ways to elicit a bristle in his flat-line facade. Belinelli and Ilyasova might not be back if the Sixers give a maximum value contract to James or 27-year-old Paul George. A deal that would see the 76ers pay him $23 million.
Embiid is looking forward to a future with no minutes or back-to-back game restrictions.
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"For Ben, who had such a disgusting series at times, to show such class and be such a role model for kids like my son, it was remarkable", he said. That could help him pursue the MVP he speaks often of. We've got a bright future. "They are unbelievable and very skilled". "They're loud. They talk a lot of (expletive) to you". But it really has to be up to them. "But they did a great job the whole night". Repeat it again. Because for Simmons to achieve his potential, he was always going to need to expand his offensive game. He has improved his free throw shooting.
"I wouldn't say struggle", he said of his performance. "There hasn't been (an off-season) I haven't gotten better at something".
It's not so much even about the points he is scoring from the outside that makes this new-found range so important, it's that he is forcing the opposition big, in Philly's case; Joel Embiid, to come out of the paint and defend his outside shot.
They may add a marquee free agent to the group in pursuit of those rings, and they also could have the chance to draft another talented playmaker in June. "I think he's had an exceptional year".
But just how far can The Process take them?
The talent drops off after the first six choices, which will include Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter of Duke. That would be the ultimate dream scenario for the Sixers, but the odds of that happening are not great.
For the Sixers, it had to be hard watching Tatum torch the variety of defenders he saw - Simmons, Marco Bellinelli and primary defender Robert Covington - especially as their own offence seemed to lack a good dose of athleticism and shot creation, two areas where Tatum excels.