The Philadelphia 76ers have made their presence felt around the NBA this season. At first glance, their record will indicate another failed year but look closer and you will see what’s about to happen.
By the All-Star break, this team will be no more. It’s not a seller’s nightmare as it was in season’s past but they may become buyer’s for the first time in a long time.
With news that rookie Ben Simmons ankle has healed and will take the court after the break, the 76ers can finally reach for the light. The “trust the process” phase is over and the team is ready to make a stand.
There might not be a playoff chase this year but for the teams thinking the 76ers will help their cause will be in for a world of hurt.
Joel Embiid is the future. Not just as the face of the franchise but he may very well be the best Center in the NBA already. By the time the break is over so should those 25-28 minutes for Embiid. It’s time that Brett Brown lets this animal loose.
I give the 76ers the nod as the most dangerous team due to what will happen during the Trade Deadline.
There are two major pieces the team has that most GM’s inquire about. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. If the 76ers can move either player, the return they will get will set them up for one heck of a run in the second half.
Embiid is a scorer, rebounder, and defender which makes it hard for him and Okafor to operate on the blocks together. Noel is more a defensive player that will take pressure off Embiid shoulders. The likely move will be to trade Okafor for a PG like Ricky Rubio. The other issue that needs to be addressed is the SG spot but, if Gerald Henderson can continue to give solid contributions then the team is set on that front.
While most non-76ers fans won’t recognize the bench players in a restaurant that doesn’t mean they can’t play. Many are surprised when checking the box score and seeing that stat line of a T.J. McConnell, Ersan Ilyasova, Robert Covington or Sergio Rodriguez. But make no takes about it, the 76ers are solid when it comes to their second unit.
The future is bright for this team and the fans are excited about the possibilities. At 13-26 they are still near the basement but with six wins in their last eight games the team has been making strides and turning a few heads outside of Philly.
And just think, their best lineup has yet to play together this season.