Here’s my question, are the Philadelphia 76ers on the cusp of becoming a great team? A team that Philadelphia fans can be proud of? Because, let’s face it, the 76ers haven’t given fans much to cheer for in the last quarter of a century. Yes, they had a little stretch run in the early 2000s where they made it to the NBA Finals once. Even with that brief glimmer of glory, since 1991, the 76ers have only had seven seasons with a better than .500 win percentage.
The saying goes, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.” With Philly’s last three and half season’s combined record of 63-226 hanging over them like the storm clouds of Katrina, that silver lining would be a godsend.
Fans’ prayers answered, godsend received via the NBA Draft. Since 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers have had seven 1st round picks and twelve 2nd round picks to try and build anything resembling a franchise. That’s nineteen players drafted within the first two rounds in the last three years! What?
Bringing me back to my original question, will the Sixers finally have the right pieces of the puzzle for a superior team that can produce a championship? Right now, the team is young. But I believe players like Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, and Joel Embiid are exactly what Philadelphia needs to bring a championship back to the city within the next five years. As for right now, “The Process” is adjusting to his role as the big man in the Sixers’ lineup. Embiid has only played in 29 of the Sixers first 41 games, but his presence has been widely recognized. The team holds a 3-9 record without Joel in the lineup and 12-17 with him in it. Once Ben Simmons returns, tentatively slated for after the all-star break, it will be exciting to see what this team can do the second half of the season.
My feelings are, that by the end of this season, Philadelphia and fans will not only have a Rookie of the Year winning center on their team in Joel Embiid, but also the optimism that basketball has found its way back to The City of Brotherly Love.