Being a Sixers fan this year has felt, largely, like being in a doomed relationship. While the rest of the league is talking about young stars like Luka and Zion, and well-constructed mega-teams like the Lakers and Clippers, the Sixers are spinning their wheels with a misshapen team.
On Thursday, those exact sentiments - the "why must the Sixers be this way?!" angst - were given a mainstream voice when ESPN's Pablo Torre, who counts himself as a Sixers fan, chatted about the state of the team.
Torre appeared on Thurday's episode of Tom Haberstroh's "Habershow" podcast to talk all things NBA, and they eventually made their way to Philadelphia's basketball team, likely headed towards another early postseason exit.
Torre started his dissection of the Sixers' struggles around the 35:20 mark, got on a roll, and didn't look back:
I just hate watching Al Horford play basketball. I just hate it. It's infuriating. And Tom, it's August 12, right? We've had four extra months to really contemplate how useless Al Horford is to the Sixers' ambitions. More than we would even get in a normal season. And we're still talking about Al Horford.
And part of it is because Brett Brown and the Sixers took forever to admit that he should not be playing with Joel, and the other part now, which is inevitable, is this injury to Ben. It's just groundhog day. It's endless. I don't hate anyone in the NBA, but I hate watching Al Horford play basketball.
And I want to be fair to Al Horford here. I don't hate how Al Horford plays more than I hate how Elton Brand has general managed. And when I say Elton Brand, I mean Elton Brand plus, in parentheses, the leftover Bryan Colangelo brain trust. What they have done to build this team? That's really the root of all my most fiery and acid reflux-like reactions. Why don't they have guards?
Yep, that about sums it up.
The 2019-20 season has been so frustrating for Sixers fans because the complications are two-fold.
There's the underwhelming performance from guys like Horford and Josh Richardson, who were brought in (and paid exorbitantly) to put the Sixers over the top but instead have played very average basketball. That's concerning because Horford, unless he's traded, is here for three more years and isn't getting younger - or, likely, better.
And then there's the performance of Elton Brand, the man ostensibly in charge of adding the underwhelming players. He failed to adequately address the team's need for perimeter shooting this past offseason, which doomed them to middling returns this year.
The team needs to solve its on-court product by finding better-fitting players to put alongside Simmons and Embiid. It also needs to evaluate its decision makers before looking for those better-fitting players.
Barring an unforeseeable miracle run - and, frankly, even if one happens - Sixers fans like Torre need to see some significant changes this offseason. Because this year has incurred enough "acid reflux-like reactions" to last a lifetime.
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