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NBA: 5 reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers are the team to avoid in the East Playoffs

SENIOR ANALYST
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1.22K   //    03 Mar 2018, 23:48 IST

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid

Sam Hinkie's move to trade Jrue Holliday for Nerlens Noel and a top-5 protected 2014 draft pick from the New Orleans Pelicans kicked off a period of 4 seasons during which the Philadelphia 76ers played historically bad basketball. They won a combined 75 games over the next 4 regular season campaigns for a win percentage of .228 over this period.

They stunk so bad that fans exasperated with their embarrassing play clamored for, and eventually succeeded in getting Sam Hinkie to resign from his role. But they drafted well over this period, and have built the franchise back up with shrewd acquisitions over the past 2 offseasons.

Currently, they have an intriguing mix of proven NBA role players, bonafide superstars, and veterans. As such, they have the ability to spring a surprise or two in the 2018 Playoffs. We now take a look at the top 5 reasons why:

#5 Mismatches

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks
#21 Joel Embiid

The Sixers are a team which have 3 players at 6'10" or above in the starting lineup. They also have Robert Covington, who at 6'9" is taller than your average NBA small forward. This quite evident difference in size and length gives them an advantage the very second they step on the court. Joel Embiid at 7'2" and Simmons at 6'10", in particular, have a very good game in the paint area.

In addition, Embiid often clears out of the paint for a 5-out offense on various plays, which gives room to their wing players to make plays on cuts. It also allows for Saric to put his driving game to effective use. Saric is an effective player in isolation and can also get the job done late in games, should their opponents push hard double teams on Embiid and/or Simmons.

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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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