The Sixers just notched their 50th win in a season for the first time since the 2001-2002 season.
The last time the Philadephia 76ers reached 50 wins in a season, Allen Iverson led the Sixers to the NBA Finals but ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Lakers who were bannered by Shaquille O'Neal and a young Kobe Bryant. That was during the 2001-2002 season. That's 17 seasons in the making, right? Fortunately, these Sixers trusted the process, indeed.
Believe it or not, the Philadelphia 76ers have already moved on from being a bottom-dwelling team in the Eastern Conference to a playoff-bound team. Yes, folks, the Sixers are in the playoffs. And whether you believe it or not, the Sixers are heading into the playoffs on a hot run as they are on a 14-game winning streak after beating the Dallas Mavericks, 109-97. That win also enabled the Sixers to stay a game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third spot in the East. With two more games left on their regular season schedule, the Sixers might as well keep their streak going.
Mind you, folks. Joel Embiid, the Sixers' All-Star center has missed the final stretch of the season and is expected to miss the first round of the playoffs. But, it appears that Philadelphia is doing just fine without Embiid all thanks to their super rookie, Ben Simmons who continues to break record after record while cementing his status as the best "rookie" this season.
Can Philadephia make a noise in the playoffs?
Making the playoffs AND making a deep run into the playoffs are two seperate things. Philadephia can be considered as a good playoff-bound team but their chances of making it past the first round against the Miami Heat (assuming that the current standings stay the same) will depend on how the Sixers will adjust to their lack of playoff experience. In fact, the Sixers only have two players who have playoff experience with their former teams: JJ Reddick and Marco Belinelli.
With a resurging Miami Heat team led by recently-returned Dwayne Wade, the odds are stacked up against these young Sixers and unless Philadephia can find someone who can stay toe-to-toe against Hassan Whiteside, the potential first-round series between the Heat and the Sixers might be over in just 5 games.
But then, who would have thought that Philadelphia will be this good this season? Who would have thought these Sixers will be ranking higher than LeBron James and the Cavs in the East? The Sixers may be a young team but that didn't stop them unleashing a 14-game winning streak with a chance to finish the season with a 16-game winning streak. Just how did Philadelphia become this good? Simple: They trusted the process and they will need to continue to trust it especially with Joel Embiid's absence.