So by now you and I both know that Jimmy Butler is a 76er and the East looks a whole lot different up at the top. What does this mean for Boston? It means they have to figure it out and gel sooner rather than later. Toronto already is out to an 11-1 record and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to stop any time soon. If anything, it’ll only get better as Nick Nurse figure out to how to truly integrate Kawhi into the offense. Philadelphia now assumes the role as a true threat as well to the Celtics. While it was clear they were a tier below Boston now it’s honestly pretty close. One thing to look for are further moves from the Sixers and I don’t think they’re done yet. Letting go of Saric (30% 3fg but career 35% 3fg) and Covington (39% 3fg) in the deal depletes an already barren roster in regards to shooting. If they put some shooters around the core they’ve assembled they’re a real threat in the East and will be a tough out come playoff time. For now, they still have the starpower they’ve craved around Simmons and Embiid. It’ll be interesting to watch how Butler’s personality resonates with not only Simmons/Embiid, but, known mental midget Markelle Fultz, and the rest of the team/organization.
Below are the 3-point percentages of Sixers players this season. When you take away Saric and Covington from that sample only two players on the roster are above 30% from downtown that play more than 30 minutes per night (Redick: 34.2 and Embiid: 30.2). Enter Jimmy Butler (37.8) and it gets a little bit better but it can be seen that there really is not much shooting on this roster.
Take a look at Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee’s 3-point percentages and you can see why the Sixers might make some further moves.
If they’re going to try to score without any reliable three-point shooting from key players, then things are going to be tough. It’s an old-fashioned style of play and we’ve seen that to win you need shooting and you need a lot of it. Butler obviously fills a void on other fronts like defense, competitive fire, and star caliber talent but it’ll be a work in progress. They had to do it because they weren’t as good as Boston, Toronto, and maybe even Milwaukee.
For the Celtics, this adds more star power to an already crowded top of the standings in the East. They’ve played some very sub par basketball thus far in the year and this move by Philly only builds on the pressure. Things haven’t clicked yet but maybe a move like this will kick them into high gear as they realize it may be tough down the line if they dig themselves a hole in the standings. Home court matters in the NBA and if Boston slid to the 3 seed a second round matchup would have to be on the road. I know they agree with me in saying that I’d rather not have to go on the road in the second round with how good the East is at the top. This also means another thing. The Celtics might finally have the start of a real rivalry with the 76ers. The word rivalry was thrown around before but it was clear the 76ers had a long way to go before they were a real threat to Boston. This brings them right up there with the Celtics and is going to be a great thing for basketball. If Kawhi stays in Toronto and the Knicks/Nets continue to progress, then the Atlantic Division will be having some very high level basketball for years to come. A talent influx in the East after it seemed as though every all star was out west makes the game better for viewing and competitive purposes. There seems to be more good teams in the league than ever before and this adds to the truly elite of that group and gives Philly a real chance to make a run at a Finals berth down the road.
Follow us on Twitter @ViewsFromWall for real-time post updates and other news!