The Sixers' locker room issue that Al Horford eluded to on Wednesday is apparent friction between the team's all-stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, according to Fox Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard.
Broussard joined Colin Cowherd on Thursday's The Herd and said Embiid and Simmons are "jealous of one another, according to people close to that situation."
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"I'm told other players talked to them at some sort of kind of players meeting, something like that, where they talked to Embiid and Simmons and were like, 'Look, you guys, you gotta lead us. You gotta get it together, we should be much better.' And Embiid and Simmons accepted that, but we'll see."
On Wednesday, Horford told reporters, “There is some stuff going on in our locker room, and we’ll keep that internal. But we all know we need to be better and we need to step it up. It is a great opportunity to do it tomorrow.”
The Sixers have lost three straight, falling to 31-20, six full games behind the Raptors for the two-seed in the East. Tonight, Philly plays at Milwaukee with, most likely, a depleted bench as GM Elton Brand made a deal early on Thursday acquiring Glenn Robinson II and Alec Burks from Golden State for second-round picks. The Sixers will have to make room on the roster for those two players, likely leaving them with a short bench tonight against the Bucks.
Both Robinson and Burks give the Sixers two big body perimeter players who can shoot (both 37.5%+ on 3.5+ attempts from three). Philadelphia is a top heavy team built for the playoffs, so when you have injuries, they were forced to overplay guys like Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton. You combine an injury riddled season and lack of depth with poor play from wing bench players like Mike Scott and James Ennis, and you have an underachieving basketball team.