After Years of Trusting the Process, The Philadelphia Sixers are Here
Forever mediocre, at one point in time it seemed like the Philadelphia 76ers were littered with bad luck and disfunction, and this “Process” that was endlessly preached by the organization, seemed to be nothing more than a marketing ploy meant to keep a desperate fanbase engaged.
Look at The Process now.
The Philadelphia 76ers are here and not only are they back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012, they are closing in on locking up the third seed in the Eastern Conference, pushing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to fourth. The Sixers are legit and after a 28-54 season in 2016-17, the Sixers have reached the 50-win mark for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
On the heels of winning their 14th straight victory, the Sixers now look like the most dangerous and interesting team in the Eastern Conference, and despite a weak schedule to culminate the season, Philly is set to enter the post season as the NBA’s hottest team. As they await the return of All-Star Joel Embiid, it has been Rookie of the Year favourite Ben Simmons who has demonstrate that he is the most important piece to the Process.
No matter whether the general public realizes this or not, the Sixers have and this season, they have built a team around a player who has accumulate a grand total of zero NBA regular season games prior to the tip off of the 2017-18 season.
A generational talent, Simmons is built in the LeBron James mold. He is a pass-first point-forward, with unrivalled court vision an a scoring ability that will elevate him to the ranks of one of the game’s greatest players sooner rather than later. Similar to what the Cavaliers did in plugging shooters around James, the Sixers replicated the idea. Surrounding Simmons are the likes of J.J. Redick, Marco Belinelli, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell, Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova.
In and around the paint remains Embiid, quite possibly the best centre in the entire League and on the Philly bench is the number one overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz.
This Sixers have a blueprint in place that can translate into years of success and while this season is only the beginning, the 76ers aren’t even close to scratching the surface.
How will these NBA playoffs go?
Rather well actually. The Sixers are slated to face the Miami Heat in round one, followed by a injury-ravaged Boston Celtics team assuming that the favourite move onto the second round. If the 76ers are to crack the Eastern Conference Finals, already an extremely impressive feat assuming the team’s lack of success over the past half-decade, they will face a team of the calibre of the Toronto Raptors or the Cleveland Cavaliers – two teams the Sixers have defeated in-season.
Of course lack of experience may be seen as an issue, but really, this young Sixers team has nothing to lose. Sure, they can play tense and timid, but they will not play with same expectations that the Raptors and Cavs will be facing.
That being said, the 76ers are here and while their future seems as bright as ever, they are still the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.