Something is definitely wrong with the Philadelphia 76ers. Instead of competing for the No.1 place in the Eastern Conference, the boys from Philly are still struggling to make some notable run.
At the moment they are fourth in the East, one game ahead of the Boston Celtics, and 4.5 behind the first-place Raptors.
For some, this is not a bad position, but if you look at the amount of talent int 76ers team, we could say that this is beneath their capabilities.
Now, the Sixers didn’t have a great start at the beginning of the season, and for a brief moment, after Jimmy Butler landed they started playing good, but it appears that his arrival pretty much damaged the chemistry on and off the court.
The disharmony between him and the other players could also be seen tonight, after the game against the Hawks. Once again, his reaction to other teammate comment was simply not normal and usual.
Philadelphia lost to Atlanta Hawks, the team in the process of rebuilding. The final result was 123-121 for the franchise from Georgia, but what was specifically painful for all the 76ers fans, is the fact, that the loss happened at Wells Fargo Arena.
Though they didn’t have Joel Embiid in the starting lineup, there is no justification for such a result.
Ben Simmons was very straightforward after the game, and he was self-critical on him and his teammates, stating that they were “too soft”, after one reporter asked him about Sixers problems with Hawks physicality.
“Definitely,” Simmons said, “I think we were too soft.”
After this sentence, the former rookie of the year also told that his team had problems in defense because of the lack of strength.
“It’s a pride thing” -Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/lhPvuevkFX
— J Blevins (@JBlevinsPFO) January 12, 2019
“I just don’t think we’re physical enough. I think defensively, we’re not taking it personal enough when guys score on us. It should be a pride thing when somebody scores; you should be frustrated every time,” Simmons who posted another triple-double said.
He scored 23 points, and had 15 assists, and 10 rebounds.
But Jimmy Butler had a different opinion. It would be all good, if his way of disagreeing in this matter weren’t a little bit strange.
It looked like Butler took that personally and overreacted without a particular reason.
“I don’t like the word ‘soft,'” Butler said.
And then he started whistling, and making a face gesture which isn’t usual in these situations. For most of the people, it was once again one of his reactions where he doesn’t care about the cohesion of the team, but likes to play solo.
— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) January 12, 2019
There are ways to disagree with a teammate statement, but this is certainly not one of them.
Jimmy Butler single-handedly lost the game tonight, after turning the ball with 31 seconds to go, with the result tied at 121 each. The guests scored, and the Sixers had the last attack, in which Butler missed both of his free throws with 2.4 seconds until the buzzer.
Butler is constantly trying to impose himself as the leader of this team, but it seems that the young core led by Simmons and Embiid is rejecting the four-time All-Star. Embiid openly talked about his role and the changes he had to accept when Butler came, stating that he isn’t happy at all, while Simmons didn’t have any public reactions or outbursts so far.
Meanwhile, Butler had several of them, the latest one when he openly challenged coach Brett Brown and his offensive assignments at one practice with people listening to the argument between the two.
The former Chicago Bulls and Timberwolves forward, demanded a bigger role, which is impossible having in mind that there are two other superstars in this team besides him.
It seems that Butler wants to either establish himself as the only leader of this team, or to find another club.
After these situations, we belive that there won’t be too many clubs after him this summer, knowing that he might be toxic for team’s chemistry and the enviroment arround him.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.