In recent years the All-Star break hasn’t packed the same punch it used to. After Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 178-164, Sixers fans are ready for the ‘dream team to push for the playoffs.
It isn’t without saying that Philly is lucky to be honored in the All-Star game by having two representatives from their roster. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid clashed in Charlotte on Sunday night and it was quite the spectacle.
Simmons flirted with a triple-double while Embiid hauled in 12 rebounds and 10 points. Now that the break is over, it’s time to get back to the good stuff. Philly is currently fifth in the East, behind Boston.
This isn’t the most daunting position to be in, especially since the third-seed Pacers are without star player Victor Oladipo for the rest of the season. Boston could spell trouble, especially with Kyrie Irving finding his groove again.
It’s nice to get back to the rest of the season, especially for Philly. The addition of Tobias Harris before the trade deadline means the Sixers will really need to focus the rest of the year to build a chemistry that will last into the playoffs.
Embiid is always a man of the people, even when the lights are the brightest:
Can the ‘dream team’ secure homecourt advantage for the playoffs?
Philly is 6.5 games back of the first seed Milwaukee Bucks. While it isn’t completely unrealistic that they end up first in the Eastern Conference, they are more likely to end up somewhere within the top three.
The ‘dream team’ has all the pieces necessary to stop the other powerhouse teams in the east. Simmons can match up with any guard, Embiid is better than any big man, and Jimmy Butler can score the ball better than anyone in the league at times.
It truly seems like Harris is the final cog needed to make this wheel spin all the way to the NBA finals. Of course there are a few obstacles in the way. These obstacles go by the names, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Irving.
Those are three monsters standing between Philly and the pearly gates who bear the Larry O’Brien trophy. The only way the Sixers crack the top three is to play confident.
At times, Butler shrinks in the bright lights. Anytime a team doesn’t commit to Simmons on the perimeter, he looks totally overwhelmed on offense. Even Embiid can take some wild shots when the team is struggling to move the ball on offense.
These are all problems the team has to address going forward. Especially if they are going to knock off the likes of Boston and Toronto, both with championship experienced players.
Fans can’t get enough of Harris’s spectacular play:
No more Fultz, no more drama
After a season and a half with the team, Philly finally decided to trade Fultz. While a couple draft picks and a role player aren’t much, they are something. It seemed like everyday Fultz was losing more trade value.
He was obviously not a part of the future plans, especially the ‘dream team’ that are currently assembled. His time was short-lived, without much to love.
It’s unfortunate that any franchise can end up taking a bust with the first overall pick, but even worse for Philly was their draft streak. Fultz isn’t the first Philly draft bust, and he might not be the last.
Luckily for the Sixers, they were able to acquire generational talent in Embiid and Simmons through the draft. Developing the rest of the team wasn’t an easy task either. Elton Brand has stepped in beautifully for the franchise, creating a team that really looks like a championship contender.
Now that the All-Star break is over, fans can get back to some real basketball, and the pursuit of the ultimate goal in June. With a roster full of talent, the championship is the limit for the ‘dream team’ in Philly.
Fultz is still recovering from his injury while he waits to play with Orlando: