The Philadelphia 76ers are not Charles Barkley’s favorite team at the moment. During TNT’s Sixers-Celtics pregame show, the former Sixer described the squad “as the softest, mentally weakest team” in the NBA.
Chuck said the team “talks the talk, but that’s it” during his rant. He compared Brett Brown’s squad to the Cleveland Browns, a team that had so much hype entering the 2019 NFL season. During week 1, the Browns got smoked by the Titans and the whole season spiraled downhill from there.
The Sixers aren’t having that bad of a campaign. They remain a top-6 seed in the Eastern Conference, though that is a disappointment for a team expected to have serious title aspirations.
Ben Simmons spent part of his media session earlier this weak calling the team soft.
“We were soft,” Simmons said of the Sixers (via ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe). “… The physicality side of things, we gotta step that up. That comes with experience, also just comes with personality. Don’t get bullied.”
Philadelphia Adds Talent
The franchise didn’t wait until the final hour on NBA trade deadline day to make a move, instead, they pulled the trigger late Wednesday on a deal with the Warriors. The Sixers acquired Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in a deal that saw them hand over three second-round picks to Golden State.
The two veterans should help solidify the team’s bench unit.
Burks was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 draft. However, injuries were the only thing kept him from reaching his full potential during his seven-plus season in Utah. This year in Golden State, the 28-year-old is averaging 16.1 points per game. He’s shooting 37.5% from behind the arc.
Robinson, who is in his sixth year in the league, is averaging 12.9 points per game and he’s shooting 40.0% from behind the arc. He was the No. 40 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Both Burks and Robinson have proven to be good veteran leaders for the Warriors this season.
How Did Other Eastern Conference Contenders Perform at the Trade Deadline?
There weren’t any deals at the top of the Eastern Conference outside of the Sixers and Heat. The Bucks made no moves, as they didn’t want to disrupt their chemistry. They are still the favorites in the Eastern Conference based on their success this season.
The defending champions didn’t do anything either. There was chatter that the Raptors were going to go “all-in” to defend their title, adding pieces to help them achieve that goal. No deals materialized for Toronto and they will go to battle with the group they have.
The Celtics surprisingly didn’t make a trade but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. They sought out Davis Bertans and Christian Wood but were rebuffed by the Wizards and Pistons, respectively. The Pacers were never expected to be active and didn’t shake things up.
Miami is the lone Sixers’ rival for the Eastern Conference throne that improved. Pat Riley & Company brought on Andre Iguodala in addition to Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. The team sent away Dion Waiter, James Johnson, and Justise Winslow.