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& # 39; # 39 & potential; is a dangerous word, but Sixers has players who realize it



On paper, many teams in the NBA look awfully good.

Both LA teams look like Moloch. The warriors have lost Kevin Durant, but they are still the warriors. The bucks have the reigning MVP and maybe the deepest squad in the NBA.

Then there are the Sixers, who have as much potential as any team. The first five could be the best in the league. A well-known statistical model even gives you the best chance of winning the final.

But the word "potential" can be dangerous. Al Horford is perhaps the most consistent player out there. Joel Embiid is still climbing and still has a lot to do, but he is probably the best big man in the league.

The other three members of the starting unit must all exhaust their full potential so that the Sixers can achieve their goals.

Does anyone in the league have more to prove than Ben Simmons? It seems strange to type this sentence for a 22-year-old who has won Rookie of the Year and already formed an All-Star team, but here we are. Simmons got his rookie max overtime on Monday ̵

1; which was 100 percent the right move – but there were still questions left in his jump. He has worked with famous trainer and shooting coach Chris Johnson this summer in Los Angeles. He has also decided not to play for the Australian national team at the FIBA ​​World Cup, so he can prepare for the NBA season.

Recently, Tobias Harris was at Simmons for a training in LA and he was impressed with Simmons progress.

"We played a lot 1-on-1. He is religious every day in the gym – grinding, getting better. He's in great shape, "said Harris at a press conference last Friday. "Everyone was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the three-point line. It was really because he had beaten two of them. I dared to beat two of them, and he beat two in a row, so I was there. He has made major improvements to his game. His jump shot looks really good. He has the confidence to shoot it. I've told him over and over again that even with these training sessions he has the confidence to shoot at them and that he will not be discouraged if he misses them. "

Harris is another player who has something to prove after practice, having the richest contract in franchise history. GM Elton Brand gave up a chance to buy the 27-year-old from the Clippers and the results were mixed.

Harris went up in flames with the Sixers, scoring an average of over 20 points per game, scoring 40 percent of three in his first 13 games. Then he really struggled down the track, scoring an average of 16.1 points per game and scoring only 23 percent of his threes. He was also inconsistent in the team's postseason.

Nevertheless, there is much optimism when Harris works with the team – especially when Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick are gone. He admitted that the uncertainty surrounding his role influenced his playing, but these new pieces could unlock more of his potential. Harris had a borderline All-Star season and was one of the prolific shooters in the league in a more featured role with the Clippers. He has improved every season he has been in the NBA and there is hope that the promotion will continue.

Harris hopes the ascent will continue in Philadelphia – and only in Philadelphia.

many situations, "said Harris. "Being able to have these guys sitting up here at my meeting was also one of the most attractive things on the field. For me it was just a win-win situation to come here, in a situation where I can evolve and stay somewhere for many years. I'm looking forward to it and obviously signed a five-year contract, so I hope to finish my career here, God willing.

It makes sense that Harris would be looking forward to the arrival of Josh Richardson.Other When Richardson turned out to be a strong two-way player, the two had an existing relationship: While they did not play together in a season in Tennessee, Harris sat in his draft in Tennessee during the NBA lockout This year, he brought freshman Richardson to dinner.

Harris recalls a co-trainer who said then that Richardson Considering Richardson was a two-star recruit who had graduated from high school, he made this unnamed coach look terribly prophetic.

"It would be a pro" because he worked hard ] Richardson, who was selected in the second round in 2015, had to pave his way into the NBA with his tenacity defense and high energy, much like Harr's, Ric hardson's offensive game has grown in every season in the league. At times, he was the offender of the heat last season, accepting most of the threes of his career with a healthy edge – though he was only about the average percentage of the league.

While the team looks like a defensive monster, distance is still a question mark. The Sixers rely on all three players – and indeed Embiid and Horford – to have the best shooting times of their careers.

"I'm looking forward to the training camp, find out," said Brand Of course we'll hang up our hat there. In my opinion, we should be one of the best defensive teams in the league. But we will find out the distance. We have a lot of versatility. Al Horford can make room, Joel Embiid can make room, Ben is working on his game, Josh is a high-level scorer and Tobias is a high-level shooter and scorer, so we look forward to it working out in training camp take some time.

How much work Simmons, Harris, and Richardson have invested on this potential could be realized.

That could make the Sixers a very dangerous team.

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