Ben Simmons Wants Jamal Crawford On Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the best young teams in the NBA, built on an analytical process eschewing older veterans in favor of draft picks and prospects. Jamal Crawford appears to be the antithesis of that but Ben Simmons believes he could be what the Sixers need.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Scoop B Radio caught up with Simmons at NBA 2K19’s launch:
When asked about the state of Jamal Crawford coming to the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons just told me: “He Needs to come through"
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) August 30, 2018
The 38-year-old Crawford is coming off a down season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging the fewest minutes (20.7) and points (10.3) per game since his second season in the NBA.
Philadelphia is coming off its most successful season in years, winning 52 games with an All-NBA season from Joel Embiid and a Rookie of the Year campaign from Simmons.
The Sixers continued to build on their defensive foundations, finishing third in the league with a 101.6 Defensive Rating. Rapid development offensively helped to spur them to a 22-5 record after the All-Star break with the fifth best offensive rating (111.5) over that time, finishing 11th overall (107.4).
With a combination of poor shooters and a lack off shot creation, the Sixers’ offense was dismantled by the Boston Celtics’ league-best defense in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, scoring just 103.3 points per 100 possessions, finishing just ahead of the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans and losing in five games.
Over the summer, the Sixers lost key bench pieces Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. The hope is Markelle Fultz will be able to provide Philadelphia with another source of shot creation and playmaking after spending the summer rehabilitating his shot. But even if Fultz is ready to be a full-time rotation player, the Sixers still have a need for dynamic offensive players.
Crawford has always been a gunner with less-than-ideal efficiency but his ability to create under heavy duress remains a valuable skill in small doses. Now, he just needs to come through.