‘This Group Is Really Close, They Don’t Have Any Distractions, and They Play Hard’

The number of gamers in the U.S. has been on the rise, but not everyone can make it to a weekly or even daily game night with friends and family. What if you could play games like Fortnite and Dota 2 without leaving your house? Whether we’re playing for fun or competing against someone else, video games still hold an important place in our society – what are some factors driving this trend?

A recent study found people who play hard are happier than those who don’t. But what about when your friends have kids, jobs or other commitments? It turns out that having a lot of time to hang out with your group is the key. As long as you can spend time together without any distractions, playing hard will help maximize happiness levels overall.

Since the end of last season, the Ben Simmons saga has been a black cloud hovering over the Philadelphia 76ers’ lineup. However, since the club has actually hit the court and begun to produce victories — and since Simmons has left the organization entirely — the focus has moved to the team as a whole.

The Sixers have been kept afloat by franchise center Joel Embiid, head coach Doc Rivers, and the rest of the team. Actually, it’s preferable than just being afloat.

Philly is receiving production from a motley crew of supporting cast members who are showing that the whole is genuinely better than the sum of its parts.

Philadelphia leads the Eastern Conference with an 8-2 record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKTwL BDctk

Philadelphia has won eight of their first ten games this season. The Miami Heat are 7-2, followed by a group of 6-3 clubs.

Over the last several seasons, the Sixers have been Embiid and Simmons as a team. When healthy, JoJo is one of the league’s most dominating players. Simmons has been a high-level facilitator and one of the league’s finest defensive players.

However, the partnership never resulted in serious championship contention.

Rivers has been forced to go farther down his bench for output now that Simmons has left and no date (or even probability) for his return to the squad is known.

And he’s received it — a lot of it — from a group of relative unknowns who, together with Embiid, have effectively drowned out nearly all of the Simmons talk on the scoreboard.

The Philadelphia 76ers have one of the NBA’s most balanced teams.

The Philadelphia 76ers huddle as a team prior to a game. Before a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena, the Philadelphia 76ers gather. Getty Images/Michael Reaves

So far in 2021-22, Embiid has been Philadelphia’s #1 scorer and rebounder. The Cameroonian, who is 7 feet tall, averages 21.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. The next nine players in Rivers’ rotation, on the other hand, are carrying the team.

Along with Simmons and Embiid, Tobias Harris was always the third wheel. He’s now playing Robin alongside the franchise’s center (piece) and averaging 19.8 points per game on better than 54% shooting.

Seth Curry, who has traditionally been one of the top shooters in the league, has increased his scoring output to 17.1 points per game on 50 percent three-point shooting, which ranks third in the NBA.

Tyrese Maxey has become the team’s newest backcourt starter, averaging 14.2 points per game. Furkan Korkmaz, a career role player, averages 12.4 points per game on 42.6 percent deep shooting. Georges Niang, a five-year veteran, is averaging 11.9 points in 22.7 minutes per game.

Shake Milton is averaging 11.7 points per game while shooting 41 percent from outside the arc.

There’s also Matisse Thybulle, who is perhaps the league’s finest perimeter defender. The Washington product leads the club with 2.3 thefts and 1.7 blocks per game.

According to ESPN, Rivers stated:

“This bunch is really tight, they have no distractions, and they play extremely hard.”

Doc Rivers’ Philadelphia 76ers club in 2021-22.

This year’s 76ers sans Simmons were expected to start with Embiid and then everyone else. Instead, it’s been Embiid and the rest of the team.

For Philly, it looks to be subtraction by addition.

“He’s become so much better,” Joel Embiid said of Furkan Kormaz’s career.

“It just speaks to the effort he’s put in to become a better player, a more complete player, from where he was a stationary shooter to where he is now.” pic.twitter.com/2vvwlJM3GK

November 7, 2021 — Rich Hofmann (@rich hofmann)

Last season, Simmons and Embiid, along with Harris, were the team’s top scorers. On the Philadelphia 76ers’ roster, only three other players averaged double figures.

This year’s club has been more successful on the scoreboard and in the victory column, thanks to a much deeper and more balanced roster.

Rivers seemed to be hitting all of the right notes. Maybe it’ll be easier now that Simmons is gone. Certainly, Rivers’ usage of the rotation put together by general manager Daryl Morey allows for greater space, shooting, and overall improved offensive flow.

Over the course of an 82-game season, Curry will miss 50% of his 3-point tries. Niang and Milton will most likely return to their career norms. Korkmaz is in the same boat.

Philly simply seems to be a stronger team this year than last, and it’s all because to that group of role players who have spent much of their careers in the background.

They won’t be able to do so for much longer.

NBA.com provided all data.

RELATED: Allen Iverson Gives His Brutally Honest Take on the Ben Simmons Scandal: ‘I Think the Fan Connection Got Out of Hand,’ he Says

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