PHILADELPHIA — At the halfway point of the 2022-23 season, the Philadelphia 76ers sit at 25-16 with very good defense and a good offense. It's certainly not bad — especially given the injuries Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey have each dealt with — but the Sixers have plenty of room for improvement. Just ask the team's superstar.

Following a disappointing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Embiid was asked what the Sixers have learned about the team in the first half of the season. He kept it simple and brutally honest. “That we got a long way to go,” he responded.

The Sixers came out flat against the Thunder, looking like they were the team that was young and undisciplined instead of the very young OKC squad. Philadelphia isn't in any serious funk, as the team has posted a 13-6 record since the start of December, but a spectacular performance from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped to show that Philly still isn't good enough to just show up for any game and win.

“We're still top-five in the league but I don't think we've reached our potential,” Joel Embiid said about the Sixers defense. “I think we still have a lot of breakdowns. We give up a lot of easy points. We don't guard the ball the way we're supposed to. We just gotta take pride in — all of us — doing a better job of stopping the ball first.”

The Sixers' typical starting lineup — Harden, Maxey, Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker and Embiid  — has a record of just 3-5 so far this season. In many of their games together, they have struggled defensively and weren't able to overcome that with their offense. The team has to make at least one move ahead of the trade deadline and work on its execution as a unit in order to truly compete for a title.