For the past several seasons the Philadelphia 76ers have been the worst or among the worst teams in the NBA. Stocking the team with high first round draft picks, the team looked to gradually build a competent and then contending club. Glitches occurred along the way with injuries to Joel Embiid, then Ben Simmons and this year with first-round pick Markell Fultz. However, the team, after a 1-4 start has won five straight and finally showing what fans in Philadelphia had hoped for.
The team is lead by Joel Embiid, who is averaging 20.5 points and 10.1 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. After playing only 31 games last season due to injury, the team is still approaching his playing time with kid gloves, restricting minutes and giving him days off. Once the gloves are off, Embiid should be a terror for the rest of the league.
Last year’s number one pick Ben Simmons has been excellent, averaging 17.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 8 assists per night. He can play all positions on the court, making a tough matchup for any defender. The only real weakness is from the foul line, hitting just 60 percent.
Veterans J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless have provided double-digit points per night. This is in large part to excellent three-point shooting, all hitting over 40 percent, with Covington draining 50 percent.
Forward Dario Saric, coming off a strong rookie campaign, has gotten off to a slow start, but has found his game lately, averaging 10 points and hitting 41 percent from beyond the arc.
Scrappy backup point guard T.J. McConnell provides solid shooting and game management and can fill in nicely until Fultz returns from his shoulder injury.
After winning just 37 games the previous three seasons combined, Philadelphia 76ers Finally Showing Signs That “the process” is Working improved to 28 wins last season. While they are on a current tough western road trip, the 76ers are poised to make significant improvement this season, barring serious injury.
The season is long, but a .500 record or better is not out of the question. Fans in Philadelphia who have been “trusting the process” should finally be rewarded with a playoff appearance for their patients.