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Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid needs a new pick-and-roll partner

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Article Summary:

Despite having a new head coach and a new offensive identity, the Sixers only had two players finish out the 2020-21 NBA season in the top-100 assisted points created per game, and one of the two – Tobias Harris, not Ben Simmons – did so on only 3.5 assists per game.

The duo accounted for 39.6 percent of the team’s points per game on average – 45.7 of 115.2 – and formed a near-unstoppable two-headed, two-way attack that took a quadruple doink to thwart in the Eastern Conference Finals. While Butler wasn’t elite per se in the PnR game, as his efficiency actually only ranked in the 60th percentile, his ability to play off of Embiid made both players better and the team incredibly hard to defeat regardless of an opposing team’s composition.

How essential were Embiid and Butler to Brett Brown’s end-of-game strategy? Well, let’s just say the duo accounts for more shots in the final 5 minutes of any given quarter than every other player on the team combined and scored 7.5 points versus 6.8 from the rest of the squad combined; a stat skewed significantly by a single made 3 by Mike Scott on his lone clutch playoff attempt.

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