This season for the 76ers is one that many fans and analyst consider a championship-or-bust season. With a starting lineup that ranks at the top of the NBA with multiple all stars, this season seems to be theirs for the taking.
The Sixers starting lineup includes two of the NBA’s top players today: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Embiid is a 7-foot center from Cameroon who played college ball at Kansas. He is one of the league’s most dominant big men who can stretch the floor and make great decisions with the ball. When given the ball in the paint, Embiid is rarely stopped and often compared to one of the league’s most dominant big men of all time, Shaquille O’Neal.
Ben Simmons is a 6’10” guard from Australia who played at Louisiana State University. Simmons is a rare player because he is able to play the point guard position like someone half his size.
On air, ESPN sports analyst Jay Williams said: “I think we are going to be talking about Ben Simmons in a completely different light in the next three to four months, because he put in the world this off-season.”
Ben Simmons has been questioned for his jumper in the past but if he can somehow find a way to make this improvement, he will easily be considered a top five player in the NBA.
Around their two all stars, the Sixers have acquired great pieces to upon which to build.
One is 6’9″ sharp shooter Tobias Harris, who joined the team last year as the result of a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Tobias can spread the floor and get a shot off when the attention is on Embiid or Simmons.
Another is 6’6″ guard Josh Richardson, who the Sixers acquired this season in a trade with the Miami Heat.
On ESPN’s First Take, Max Kellerman stated, “Josh Richardson can shoot…… he can also play defense and he is in his physical prime.”
The Sixers also made a trade for five-time NBA All-Star veteran Al Horford. Many believe this trade fit well for the Sixers, not only because of how great a player Horford is, but also because in the playoffs he was the only player who seemed to be able to consistently stop Embiid.
With a team like this 76ers, fans around are expecting this season to be what changes it all.
“ I definitely have the Sixers coming out of the East,” said Stephen A Smith.
Many people don’t doubt that the Sixers will make it out of a weakened Eastern Conference this season. But the real question people want answered is if the team can take down Lebron James and the Lakers in the west for the NBA Championship.
The optimistic outlook comes after some years of disappointment. From 2013 to 2017, the Sixers were on a major drought and were considered the worst team in the NBA. The team had seasons seasons in which it won fewer than 20 games out of 82. The Sixers were at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and nowhere near the playoff picture.
The past two seasons the 76ers have not been able to make it past the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Last year they lost to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors on a buzzer beater. Many think that they were a stop away from winning it all.