2018-2019 Off the Glass Team Preview Series: Philadelphia 76ers
The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Philadelphia 76ers.
52-30, 3rd in the Atlantic Division. Lost 4-1 in the second-round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Philly finally enjoyed the fruits of their Process labor. The team returned to form after years of misery, flashing immense talent at the hands of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Both players have what it takes to be transcendent figures for the Sixers. Philly also struggled through the Markelle Fultz drama, Embiid injury woes, and Simmons’ fear of shooting threes.
Ersan Ilyasova (PF); Marco Belinelli (SG); Justin Anderson (SF); Richaun Holmes (PF/C); Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (SG/SF)
Wilson Chandler (SF); Mike Muscala (PF/C); Zhaire Smith (SF); Landry Shamet (PG)
Player to Watch:
The 76ers have an immense opportunity to capitalize on all of the momentum and positivity the team sewed last year. Simmons, Embiid, and Dario Saric are a year older, while the likes of J.J. Reddick and Wilson Chandler give the team a sturdy veteran presence.
Philly will be good, no doubt about that. But the off-season was rather flat and marred by an odd front office scandal. The top of the Eastern Conference is as good as it’s been in years. A lot is riding on Simmons and Embiid for the Sixers to continue to run with the best in the East. Zhaire Smith is already out for the season, and Fultz is more of a question mark than anything. Nevertheless, keep an eye on the Sixers.
Worst Case Scenario:
Embiid is one injury away from the Sixers being a mediocre fringe playoff team. This is especially true if Simmons continues to be allergic to outside shooting.
Best Case Scenario:
We don’t know what the ceiling is for Embiid or Simmons, but the early returns should make the rest of the league nervous. There’s a chance both players take a leap forward in the 2018-19 season. If former No.1 overall pick Fultz finds his groove, and the supporting cast of Sixers plays up to par, Philly isn’t just in the conversation for the Conference Finals; they could find their way to the NBA Finals.
49-33, 3rd in the Atlantic Division.