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Monday, October 1, 2018

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Eyes On NBA: 2018-2019 Philadelphia 76ers Preview

By @TrueGodImmortal & @Phranchize19

The 76ers are a formidable team in the East who have a ton of potential and some solid young talent. After coming close to making that next step last season, the Sixers see themselves as arguably the second or third best team in the Eastern Conference and a top 3 finish seems likely if they all stay healthy. With some preseason work underway, we wanted to look at their potential record, the stars to watch out for, and what their ceiling is. Let's take a look.

*Last Year’s Record 
52-30 (Lost 4-1 to Celtics in Eastern Conference Semis)
-The Sixers could have won that series and possibly defeated the Cavs if they were forced. The Cavs faced no one quite like Embiid and Simmons together and they had the potential to make magic together in the playoffs. However, weak play from Simmons and their youth came back to haunt them, and as a result, the Sixers exited early. Could this season be a different story?

*Additions: Re-Signed JJ Redick, 
Re-Signed Amir Johnson
Picked up Wilson Chandler (via trade with Nuggets), Zhaire Smith (draft), Landry Shamet (draft)

Subtractions: Ersan Ilyasova
Marco Belineli

Best Player: Joel Embiid
X-Factor: J.J. Redick
Player to Watch For: Markelle Fultz 
Driving Force: Ben Simmons

*Record Prediction: 56-26
(Eastern Conference Semifinals or Finals)

Projected Starting 5: 
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Markelle Fultz
SF: Robert Covington
PF. Dario Saric
C: Joel Embiid

The 76ers are a quality team out East. One of the better and younger teams of the league will only continue to grow and get better. Although extremely talented, the 76ers had trouble in free agency this year. One would assume the whole Colangelo scandal had plenty to do with this as well as not having a GM until recently (Elton Brand has been named GM). However, this team is trending upward and they will be a force for the next decade or so, but all this will depend upon the health of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Markelle Fultz could be a difference maker and with Redick off the bench, he provides a scoring threat for their second unit, alongside TJ McConnell and the other bench pieces who will need to step it up. Can the Sixers ascend higher this season? Are they a possible Finals contender? With their talent, anything is possible.



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