Philadelphia 76ers

Late game hero: Jimmy Butler carries team in the clutch despite bench woes

Late game hero: Butler carries Philly in the clutch despite bench woes

On Sunday evening, another pedestrian performance by the Sixers bench should have kept them out of the game. However this wasn’t the case, and for another night Jimmy ‘Buckets’ played the late game hero and hit the final shot.

Jimmy Butler had an incredible stat line in the 127-125 win over Brooklyn, putting up 34 points and 12 rebounds. The former Timberwolves star has shown signs that there is enough room on the team for three superstars.

There is only one glaring problem with the Sixers going forward and that’s the bench. After trading away the 10th overall pick in the draft, 16th selection Zhaire Smith hasn’t played a single NBA minute.

The offseason wasn’t a total bust for the Sixers now that Wilson Chandler is finally healthy. If he can fill the shoes Robert Covington left behind in the trade for Butler, Philly will be in a great place going into the middle of the season.

Jimmy ‘Buckets’ has been clutch for the Sixers so far:

Is Markelle Fultz still a part of ‘The Process?’

Butler’s late game antics have definitely hampered whatever comeback Fultz has been trying to make this season. Nobody expected Fultz to be completely unproductive after being selected first overall in 2017.

He appears to be injured again, this time it is his wrist. Or maybe it’s his confidence. Nobody truly knows because people still don’t really understand what he was dealing with last season.

It doesn’t seem like the Washington standout is going to find any success with the Sixers. Recent rumors indicate the front office is willing to deal Fultz, despite it being only his second year.

The team doesn’t have forever to wait on Fultz and the longer he is unproductive, the less Philly will be able to get in return for him. It seems at this point in time, the best option is to part with him in the hopes of adding a few worthy role players.

Even Fultz himself is ready to for a new start:

How long can Embiid and Butler carry the load?

Jimmy ‘Buckets’ wasn’t the only one putting on a scoring showcase against Brooklyn last night. Joel Embiid had a monster performance as well, scoring 32 points and adding 12 rebounds.

Philly fans are pretty much accustomed to this kind of performance from Embiid every night. In Minnesota, it wasn’t much different for Butler, he has developed a keen scoring sense and a deadly mid-range jumper.

Although Philly puts on a scoring clinic almost every night, this won’t last all season, and shouldn’t. The team desperately needs to build an offensive attack that isn’t so iso-focused.

If Ben Simmons can get back to being the offensive maestro he was last season, Butler will fit perfectly with the team. So far it just seems like Butler hasn’t really clicked with the team, instead, he focuses on scoring and late game hero ball to close out opponents.

This isn’t a bad strategy for now, especially since the team has picked up a few wins with Butler. Eventually Brett Brown and the entire team are going to have to come together to create a lethal offense that utilizes the strengths of every player on the floor.

Embiid was nearly unstoppable in Brooklyn yesterday:

All Stats via Basketball-reference.com
Featured Image: Van Luan via Flickr.com

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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