ORLANDO — This is the 39th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag. Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered.
Let’s call this one the Happy New Year edition.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit questions for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Answer: Maybe I’m in the minority, but Green is better suited for the starting lineup. He’s the glue guy, who does a lot that goes unnoticed. A three-time NBA champion, he’s the only Sixer who knows what it takes to win big games consistently. I look at him as a coach on the floor. Right now, Ben Simmons is the facilitator. Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry are looked upon to provide scoring. The Sixers don’t need another scorer in this starting lineup as much as they need a three-and-D guy such as Green who will make sure the Sixers don’t fold under pressure.
Shake Milton is better coming off the bench for this team. It’s hard to believe Milton gets the green light if he started next to Embiid, Harris, and Curry. The same goes for Matisse Thybulle. Milton provides much-needed perimeter scoring on the bench, while Thybulle is a solid three-and-D reserve.
Give Green time. He’s averaging 4.4 points and shooting 21.1% on three-pointers (4-for-19), but it has been only five games.
A: That’s a tough one because I expect him to miss some time this season for load management. He’ll have to remain injury-free, something that hasn’t happened. In no particular order, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the favorites to win the MVP award. But the Sixers lose a lot when Embiid doesn’t play, so that should account for something.
Embiid is in the top 10 overall in scoring (26.5 points per game, tied for eighth) and rebounding (12.3, fifth), and is tied for 11th in blocks (1.5). He’ll receive some consideration if he continues to dominate and the Sixers blossom into a legitimate title contender.
A: What’s good, namesake? I hope you are well, man.
I’m going to say yes. Unlike last season, Harris has a better idea of his role. Plus, as we discussed before, coach Doc Rivers knows how to get the most out of him. I believe Harris will thrive in Doc’s system. Teams will try to prevent Simmons from attacking the rim. Embiid will draw a lot of attention because he’s the best player. Green and Curry will provide spacing. All that combined will continue to open the floor for Harris.
He’ll be in a position to bury three-pointers and drive the lane, so this should set up to be a solid season for him.