Sixers Notes: Horford, Milton, Robinson, Thybulle

The Sixers may arrive in Orlando with more lineup questions than any other contender. The most significant involves what to do with Al Horford, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The veteran big man was pulled from the starting lineup Feburary 11, but was reinserted three games later after Ben Simmons suffered a back injury.

Horford looked good in eight straight starts before the hiatus, but may be headed back to the bench now that Simmons is fully recovered. Horford seemed like a valuable addition when he left the Celtics for the Sixers last summer. But he hasn’t found a way to be effective playing alongside center Joel Embiid, particularly when Simmons is on the floor at the same time, which results in spacing issues.

“I just want us to be playing well and to be playing at a high level,” Horford said. “I’m going to continue to work and be an assistance to a team any way I can. I do know for us to be successful I have to play with different lineups. I have to play with Joel sometimes. I have to play with different people. It really doesn’t matter.”

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Coach Brett Brown wants to use Simmons in more of an off-the-ball role, which could mean additional playing time for Shake Milton, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Milton averaged 17.8 points and 4.1 assists in the last nine games before the break and moved into the starting lineup after Simmons’ injury.  However, Brown is wary about expecting too much from the 23-year-old in the postseason. “I always get nervous about relying on young guys for the NBA playoffs. Shake is no different,” Brown said. “… But I’m going into this excited. I think some of the performances that he had on a consistent basis (earlier in the season) can’t be that far out of reach where maybe he can produce a large portion of that again.”
  • In the same piece, Bodner examines which role players the team can count on when the season resumes. He suggests Glenn Robinson III, who was acquired from the Warriors at the trade deadline, may move up in the rotation.
  • Rookie Matisse Thybulle has embraced Brown’s message for players to keep their conditioning at a B level and raise it to an A in Orlando, writes Lauren Rosen of“In a matter of two weeks, I feel like I’ve gotten back into really good shape,” Thybulle said. “I think it’s going to be easier to build on after this. Like Coach said, being at a B, I feel like I’m definitely there, and once we start playing, it’s going to fall into place.”
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22 thoughts on “Sixers Notes: Horford, Milton, Robinson, Thybulle

  1. Sillivan

    If the season is canceled, it would increase revenues loss

    Trade idea

    Horford and 3 First for Luke Kennard

    76ers save 75 million next season

        • x%sure

          A Horford-Griffin switch would be good for both teams. The Pistons get better leadership, given that they retain Rose’s get-go and add Horford’s stability. And the Sixers get better variety and someone who can pressure Embiid for effort and Simmons for playmaking.

          • I give no fox

            If horford brings leadership to the Pistons, doesn’t he provide that same value to Philly? I do not see how Griffen, a guy who can’t stay on the court, would have any credibility over a well respected guy like horford. Also, ben simmons is a pretty damn good playmaker…his issue is his unwillingness to shoot from range. The sixers would not be better with this trade, unless you could guarantee an aging griffen can play to an all-star level for 80% of the games

            • x%sure

              Horford doesn’t seem to affect the Sixers like he should, probably because the Embiid-Simmons standoff overshadows everyone. But I would guess that on a young Pistons team it would be a Horford-Rose spectrum (of maturity types) that youngsters could find a place on and define the developing team with.

              Not sure Simmons works the half-court game well. He is opportunistic, while Griffin can force things and his presence would add points that would not be gotten otherwise. He could blow up the Embiid-Simmons standoff too, hopefully without making it worse like Butler worried about doing.

              I’m sure that Brand/Brown will account for how the current lineup succeeds before such a shake-up trade.

              • I give no fox

                My concerns with adding Blake would be around touches and health. Health being the obvious concern. Can you really depend on him to be available? The reason I like horford on the sixers is because he adds that injury protection for embiid, who also has issues staying on the court. It’s too risky from a roster construction standpoint to pair griffen with embiid. The other issue is touches. Blake is used to having the offense run through him, which would not be the case in Philly. He’s a ball dominant forward, adding that to Simmons/embiid/Harris seems like a recipe for disaster.

  2. x_burner_X

    “I always get nervous about relying on young guys for the NBA playoffs”

    What does he know about playoffs? Hes been tanking for 5 years there in Philly))))

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      AD had played in just 13 postseason games in the first 7 years of his NBA career, yet you never hear anyone talk about his lack of playoff experience.

  3. All American Johnsonville Dogs

    Cleveland and 76ers line up as trade partners. 76ers should trade Simmons or Embiied. I prefer Simmons.

    Love wants out of Cleveland

    Why not send Simmons and Horford to Cleveland and Love, picks, including this year’s 1st, to Philly.

    There’s got to be a way to get a trade done. Philly gets a better PF to pair with Embiid and the Cavs gets a face of the franchise in Simmons and can pair Horford with Drummond.

    • I give no fox

      I would imagine the Drummond/horford/simmons lineup would have the same spacing issues as the embiid/horford/simmons. Not to mention that simmons is worth way more than the cavs first in a weak draft.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        The spacing issues in Philly are what’s killing them.

        They need guys who can shoot, especially at PG.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Sixers could get a much better return for Ben or Embiid then getting a 30+ year old PF on a terrible contract.

    • Sillivan

      Trade Simmons for an all star,not picks

      76ers want to win title right now

  4. driftcat28

    Still salty that Horford left Boston. He’d have much more of a significant role in Boston now than he’s has in Philly

  5. Buckman

    I need the 74 letter Cambodian alphabet to identify my level of conditioning during the COVID pandemic.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Healthiest team will have best chance. That’s what it’s looking like. Sixers need a scoring PG. Simmons can play SG or SF, PF. He can still run team, share it. I think if they try hard they can redo team. By moving Harris n Horford. Or just move Horford. Some here suggested Horford to Nets. Dinwiddie and package to Sixers. Nets probably wouldn’t have to give much more. Dinwiddie is exactly what they need a scoring PG. Horford gives Nets a proven warrior for playoffs. I think this best Nets will do. By not giving up a lot. Makes them strong contender. Also makes Sixers stronger. Wonder if they both would do it, takes cojones.
    Prince, Dinwiddie, Allen money wise gets it done. Sixers throw in future pick plus Horford. Nets gave other players like Temple. they could use For cap purposes. Sixers can throw in another young player like Smith. They even have Burkes who can resign n trade. My point is this can really get done. If they both want it done. It would take courage. Cause both in same division. As fan of NBA and Horford. I like to see it

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Simmons should play PF, just like Draymond does.

      Neither of them can shoot from outside very well.

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