The Philadelphia 76ers are peaking. Maybe too early, but it doesn’t matter. For fans, the “Trust the Process” era is officially over. By the end of the regular season, the Sixers will be in the NBA playoffs. It’s just a matter of which seed they will get. The Sixers are the Nick Foles of the NBA at the moment. We knew they had talent; it was just a matter of when it would show itself.
From Ben Simmons to Joel Embiid, the Sixers are a collection of players who no one else wanted, and high draft picks who missed a considerable amount of time due to injuries. But yet, here they are. And where are they exactly? The Philadelphia 76ers are by far the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.
What team in the East can say they have a legit shot at challenging the Cavaliers, Raptors, and Boston Celtics? Those are teams with players who have been in the NBA Finals and have either won a division or advanced past the second round of the playoffs. The Sixers have done neither. The Knicks are in tank-mode. The Hornets just tried to trade their best player, and the Wizards are fighting injuries. The Pacers might have a shot, but they rely too much on one player to be trustworthy.
It’s not so much about their potential that should have NBA teams worried. It’s what they have done even with their slew of injuries and young roster. A team with nothing to lose will always be the most dangerous. Once again, look at the Philadelphia Eagles. When Carson Wentz went down, they were given the best excuse ever to roll over. Not only did they not roll over, but they also came out the darkness as Super Bowl Champs. This is what the Philadelphia 76ers can accomplish.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 17, 2018
They’re young, brash, athletic, and cocky enough to not care about history. As good as this team is now, they will only improve as the season goes on. The one area where the Sixers may have a slight concern is the status of Markelle Fultz. There is no clear indication what’s going on with Fultz. According to Bleacher Report, Fultz may not return this season. While this is a slight drawback, the team is still resilient enough to push forward. But it still comes down to the lack of respect being shown the Sixers way. Simmons was robbed of a well-deserved All-Star nod just like Saric deserved ROY last season. Embiid takes heat for his social media presence but all three players at playing at a high level. No one will ever notice until they shock the world.
Yes, there will be games where their youth will show, however, there have been games where they resemble seasoned vets. With the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, the Sixers are looking to give the city another reason to celebrate on Broad Street. The Sixers added veteran shooter Marco Belinelli during the NBA trade deadline which improves their bench and opens the paint for Embiid and Saric.
This is a young team who has beaten the Celtics, Raptors, Spurs, and Rockets. The Sixers have also held 20 point leads against the same Celtics and Warriors while being involved in a classic battle with the Big 3 of the Thunder. It’s about the youth aspect of the game now for this team. The Sixers are in seventh place in the East at the All-Star break but only two games behind the Wizards for the fifth spot while riding a five-game winning streak. The team is coming together while some teams in the conference are falling apart.
Youth is great in the NBA, and until the Sixers can mesh their youth with the veteran talent they have, there will be problems such as blowing 20 point leads. However, the moment it all comes together, the rest of the NBA will be put on notice. The good news for opposing teams is that they haven’t figured it out yet. The bad news is, it’s only a matter of time before they do.