With only four regular season games left for the Philadelphia 76ers, there is a lot of cause of concern for this team. But, is it actually something to worry about? Let’s discuss.
Yes, I understand your frustration and concern, Sixers fans. After losing to the Atlanta Hawks twice in the last week, as well as the Magic and the Dallas Mavericks, it only makes sense. Joel Embiid has been sidelined the last three games. But still, the team with arguably three all-star caliber players should be able to handle rebuilding squads. There has been a major lack of effort and sense of urgency from the team. Why is this? Well, the team is currently sitting at the third seed. With that being said, this is not the Western Conference, where losing one game has a major impact on seeding and home court advantage. The Sixers, after finally beating the Boston Celtics on March 20th, don’t seem to care about the regular season anymore.
What more do the 76ers have left to prove?
The Sixers have now beaten every single top tier team you could imagine. Now it is just a matter of surviving the last week of the regular season. The tone is pretty much set when you’re resting your best player for three straight games. Sure, Joel may actually have a case of knee tendinitis, but this wouldn’t be a thing if the playoffs were tomorrow most likely.
Yes, I get it the team has played little-to-no defense as of late. But what teams actually do for a full 82 game regular season? At worst, a roster with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler, should be an average-to-good defensive team. That is when the team is actually giving its best effort. Defense is not the strength of this team. When Elton Brand went out and made moves for both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, do you think his intent was to improve the team’s defense? He was willing to part ways with the team’s best perimeter and team defender Robert Covington.
Brand’s goal was pretty clearly to improve the starting lineup and add more of a scoring punch to the team. The NBA playoffs are all about who has the most star power and who utilizes that star power the best. It’s obvious, Golden State does both of those things the best. They have the most all-star players in the league, and they blend them nearly perfectly together. Besides Golden State, the Philadelphia 76ers may have the most talented roster in the league. Sure, their bench could use significant improvement, but your rotation and minutes distribution shrink in the playoffs. That only benefits a team like the Sixers.
This starting lineup has only played 11 games together so far. That is a risk Elton Brand and the 76ers were willing to take, though. In the limited sample size, this new team has beaten some of the NBA’s best, as stated before.
Keep Trusting the Process
The Sixers now have victories over the likes of Golden State, Houston, Milwaukee, and yes finally the Boston Celtics! This team is fully capable of having a long playoff run this year. So, do me a favor, Sixers fans. Just relax. When the team is competing in the second round of the playoffs, you will forget about all these meaningless regular season games. On top of that, let’s not forget, this team is still very young and has plenty more room to grow over the years. Joel Embiid is only 25 years of age and is already considered a top 10 player. Ben Simmons is only in his sophomore season. Yes, I said sophomore season! Let’s just sit back, relax, and trust the process!
To the city of Philadelphia, you endured those long five years of embarrassing basketball for this moment. You kept telling yourself it would pay off. Sure, we may not have gotten quite where we wanted to just yet. But I wouldn’t go back and change anything. We have a top 5 team on paper that will be competing for titles for many years. This is going to be fun!