So we know the Sixers grabbed James Harden in a huge blockbuster signing, which of course, gets a ton of attention.
But they were on their way even before that. The Philadelphia 76ers have shown to be able to shut a team down as Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle have been playing excellent defensively – Embiid is getting 1.5 blocks /game and Thybulle creates turnovers. They have a team on the court that knows how to stop opposing teams from doing what they want to do. They also defend the arc very well which is exactly what Philadelphia wants to use to their advantage.
The Sixers have been great at cutting off passing lanes and getting a hand up on shooters all season, keeping teams hitting just 33% from three, in particular and time to make a major winning run. And when you have a team that can play tough and play defense, road games don’t become nearly as difficult. Nobody wants to be the team that gives up 15 to 20 point runs because their defense can’t stop someone, especially when playing a team at home. That’s going to get the crowd fired up, the players fired up, and then oftentimes it becomes an avalanche that’s very hard to come back from. They have been able to keep that under control. The 76ers have been very good on the road this year with a record of 18-10. They’ve been able to handle business playing in Miami and a very tumultuous crowd in Chicago.
Philly also has some really solid players they can pop in off the bench. Furkan Korkmaz gives them quality minutes at about 24 minutes /game along with Thybulle – who has the ability to defend well and also can get a hand up on shooters. Having some guys like that in your back pocket really helps. Embiid and James Harden are the big name studs for this team but knowing that when they have to take a breather they have some very quality guys who can step in and produce is a phenomenal feeling. This team is also really very balanced, with guys in the back court like Tyrese Maxey and James Harden who both can make plays – along with their frontcourt with Tobias Harris and Embiid, they really have a team that when they get clicking they are really hard to stop. Having had win streaks of 6 and 7 this season, so far.
Obviously no one knows what’s going to happen at the end of the season – but as of right now – with what the Philadelphia 76ers have been putting on the court between there chest to chest defense, adding All-Star James Harden, and their ability to make stops at the rim, I feel they are the team that will push into the top spot.
Keep a watchful eye on the Philadelphia 76ers as our 10* Pick.