76ers Win 12th Straight In Detroit
The Philadelphia 76ers win their 12thstraight game, defeating the Detroit Pistons 115-108 at the Little Caesars Arena.
Last night the 76ers win eliminated a depleted Pistons team from the playoff race. The Sixers are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers at (48-30). Currently, Cleveland is winning the season series (2-1), but fear not Sixers fans the two teams will square off Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Friday’s matchup will be the last time that the teams see each other this regular season. Winning at home is crucial for the 76ers as they prepare for the playoffs next Saturday, after a five-year drought. Despite Joel Embiids recent surgery to fix an orbital fracture the team still feels optimistic that he will return by the start of the playoffs. If you are a 76ers fan you shouldn’t worry though, the team has been through adversity and trusted the process.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Embiid would be out 2-4weeks. The 7-foot center had surgery on Monday, which reportedly went well. There is no need to panic in Philly and there are four major reasons why the Sixers should be optimistic about the upcoming postseason.
Revamped Brett Brown Offense
As of now, Philadelphia is averaging 109.1 points per game which is 6.7 points more than last season. Over the last year, the team has been signing shooters who can stretch the floor in order to create room for Embiid and Simmons. The Sixers are currently averaging 26.8 assists, 47.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field, per stats.nba.com. As the 76ers prepare for the playoffs, rebounding will play a huge roll in the postseason.
When Philadelphia is able to rebound it opens up opportunities for second-chance points, corner threes, and putbacks. Throughout the 2017-18 season, Philly has been able to get production out of their bench. T.J McConnell, Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, Markelle Fultz and Richaun Holmes combined for a total of 41.6 points per contest, according to stats.nba.com. In addition to the second unit Jerryd Bayless, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Justin Anderson and Furkan Korkmaz combined for 21.5 points. (When played)
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— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 5, 2018
One impressive thing about this team is their ability to utilize their bench. However, come playoff time the rotation may get a little tighter. If every player plays their role points may not be an issue for the Sixers. As long as the team has Simmons running the point other players shouldn’t have a problem getting involved.
Throughout the season, the question, whose team is this has been asked. Honestly, it’s too early to get into the Shaq and Kobe argument. Both Embiid and Simmons provide different elements that help fuel this team, their games complement one another. Simmons has the ability to make his teammates better by making sure they are in the correct spots, running the fast break and by making the extra pass.
Embiid provides a fusion of old-school basketball with the current day game. The big man can score from inside or out. His footwork reminds you of Hakeem Olajuwon, but with a bit more range. Simmons has done a great job of getting his team involved no matter who is on the floor with him. The 6-foot-10 point-forward is averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per contest, according to stats.nba.com. So, for now, let’s put a pause on who is better.
Considering that the 21-year-old sat out last season due to injury, fans should be ecstatic for the quick bounce back. As of now, the former LSU Tiger has suited up for 77 games this season. Simmons is shooting 54.3 percent from the field which is impressive considering that he does not have a solid jump shot.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 4, 2018
Joel Embiid Playoff Return
This should be fairly simple……Trust the process. Despite a late-season surgery, Embiid has impressed many by playing 63 games this season and staying on the floor. Embiid obviously provides this team with a dual threat both inside and outside. A matchup nightmare for most because of his ability to stretch the floor, post up and catch off the pick & roll.
Since the former Kansas Jayhawk decided to swerve Rhianna he has been determined to get this team to the postseason. Last season the team finished the season (28-54) and Embiid only played in 31 games. Despite last years losing season the presences of the 24-year-old center helped boost the team’s morale, providing the team with hope and belief. Expect Embiid to return by the start of the postseason.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) December 16, 2017
Possible Home Court Cooking
After last night’s win, the team is tied for third with the Cavaliers. If the playoffs were to start today the Indiana Pacers would have to travel to Philadelphia for a first-round series. Both teams are very similar in structure. However, Philly may be better equipped for the postseason due to their bench depth.
Having home court advantage, the Sixers would be able to block out the distractions and play in front of their fans. For a young team, playing in front of a familiar crowd is exactly what you need after ending a five-year playoff drought. Both teams currently have a (20-19) road record. In the playoffs, it’s important to be able to win on the road, but if you are Philadelphia you have to solidify home court. This season at home the Sixers are (27-11) and I am sure Meek Mill will be on blast at the Wells Fargo Center to set the tone. One thing is certain 12 straight 76ers wins help them continue to build momentum for the playoffs.
Do you think the 76ers win is huge?
Featured photo Keith Allison via Flickr.
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