With Simmons at the trigger, the Sixers would drive the ball up the court and almost immediately kick the ball to Joel Embiid.
Because Embiid is Embiid, more often than not, it would result in points one way or another, but such a strategy became harder to incorporate come playoff time, when teams would collapse in an additional defender because they didn’t have to worry about Simmons as a shooter.
Much like in 2020-21, Embiid touched the ball on basically every possession he was on the court for and would routinely be given the ball later in the clock when one of the team’s shooters didn’t get the look they’d like.
But why? Shouldn’t a Simmons-less offense run like a finely tuned machine, with ample spacing for Embiid to operate as he sees fit? Why is he still receiving the ball at the top of the key and having to dribble dribble dribble down into the paint while defenders look to disrupt his handle?
Simple: The Sixers don’t have a playmaker who can reliably get him the ball where he needs it.