Fourth seed Sixers continue to clash despite recent success

Sixers star’s Embiid and Simmons clash despite being in the fourth seed

The fourth seed in the eastern conference isn’t too bad for a team with as much drama as Philly. After almost blowing a 30 point lead against Phoenix on Wednesday, there are some serious problems to consider.

While critics believed Jimmy Butler might be a problem in the locker room, it turns out the real problem was between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

ADVERTISEMENT - Support our writers | Turn off ad blockers

Following a moment where Simmons struck Embiid in the face for a rebound, the seven foot center fell to the ground visibly upset. After the game, Embiid pointed to his previous face injury as his reason for being emotional, not because of Simmons.

Recently, Simmons has been all the talk in the NBA trade world. His mediocre shooting stroke has continued to baffle critics and analysts to the point that some outlets want him gone.

ADVERTISEMENT - Support our writers | Turn off ad blockers

Luckily for Butler, he’s flourished for the fourth seed Sixers thus far and seems to be ridding himself of his problematic locker room reputation.

Maybe the next move is to trade Simmons for a shooting point guard. Maybe the next move is to let everybody hash out their problems. The locker room drama could even be a product of a lacking head coach, like Brett Brown.

Ball is life tweeted the infamous video of Embiid taking a shot from Simmons:

Without a leader, there is no head coach

Brett Brown has been anything but a tremendous leader. Throughout controversies like wasted draft picks and the Bryan Colangelo saga, Brown was normally quiet.

ADVERTISEMENT - Support our writers | Turn off ad blockers

He’s never been in full support of last year’s top pick Markelle Fultz. And he didn’t seem to enthusiastic when he acted as general manager before Elton Brand stepped in.

Now that ‘the process’ is complete, it seems about time that Philly hires a coach capable of leading the team into the future. The success of the team seems tied to a few players rather than any system Brown has in place.

The team propelled itself to the second round of the playoffs last year and is already the fourth seed this year. It is hard to say Brown’s coaching style really had anything to do with their current record.

The team plays fierce, and truthfully they play a lot of isolation and hero ball. Plays aren’t necessarily designed for anybody outside Simmons, Embiid, and Butler.

Philly’s offensive scheme, if you could call it that, rests completely on the shoulders of these three. It is easy to see why Embiid and Simmons aren’t getting along under the lackluster leadership of Brown.

Clearly, the Sixers are in a good place at the fourth seed, but that doesn’t mean executives should rule out a better leader for the long term.

At this point Twitter is full of comments calling for the firing of Brown:

Can Brand maintain the brand all the way to June?

The fourth seed isn’t a bad place for Philly to be leading up to the all-star break. While the Butler trade was significant, another deal could be looming on the horizon.

Around Christmas, Brand indicated the team was interested in picking up another big to relieve some of the stress Embiid puts on himself every night.

A 40 plus point performance against Phoenix isn’t something he can maintain every game. Especially against far lesser opponents like the Suns.

While an unorthodox approach, it could help if Brand directly communicated with players in the locker room, as well as aide Brown in his play calling.

Brand was an exceptional leader in the NBA. He played over 17 years in the league and even won the NBA sportsmanship award in 2006. He is the perfect guy to have in Philly’s front office.

Going forward, Brand could definitely keep the brand of the team out of the spotlight with his hard work and desperately needed leadership in the locker room.

Philly fans have a lot of faith in Brand, a perfect reason why he was given the job:

All information via Basketball-reference.com
Featured image: James Anderson via Flickr.com