The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to see Joel Embiid play post all-star break.

Frustrations are mounting within the fan base with every game that goes by without their star center, especially after brutal losses to the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls.

But a loss to the Bulls in March because of a metal lapse by Mike Scott shouldn’t be the main cause for concern when projecting how far the Sixers will advance in the playoffs.

Injuries and a roster overhaul at the trade deadline are out of Brett Brown’s control. Those problems don’t allow team chemistry to build properly, which is the Sixers biggest issue with the playoffs approaching.

Chemistry issues

Much has been made about the Bulls loss Wednesday night and the defensive breakdown which allowed Zach LaVine to score the go-ahead basket.

How could the Sixers allow LaVine to drive right to the basket uncontested to put the Bulls ahead? Why did both Jimmy Butler and Mike Scott cover the same guy who didn’t even have the ball?

Well Butler and Scott have only been teammates for about a month. Communication on defense is pivotal and without any practice time or experience playing together those breakdowns are bound to happen.

Butler and Scott should have been aware of the situation and made sure they knew what to do in any situation. Butler could have fought the screen to stay with LaVine or Scott could have switched when the pick-and-roll occurred.

It’s just a case of two guys not being familiar with each other. In Scott’s case, perhaps he hasn’t mastered Brown’s defensive concepts.

Brown can only do so much in that sequence. The Sixers usually switch everything so Scott should have picked up the ball-handler.

Two veteran players should know better in that situation.

Not enough time?

Embiid’s knee issues are bigger than him coming back to help the Sixers win games. Brett Brown can’t figure out his playoff rotations now when he’s missing his star player.

How can they figure out how to play with each other when Embiid is the main piece on both ends of the floor?

By the time they start to learn how to play with each other without him, he will most likely be back ready to go.

He impacts just about everything they do so when he makes his return, they may not have enough time to fit the pieces together.

Just look to the rival Boston Celtics as an example. They still have chemistry issues despite playing together all-season while staying relatively healthy.

They need Embiid back soon and everyone needs to buy in immediately once he returns. If not, they won’t survive the second round.

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