76ers make playoff run

With finals aspirations, the 76ers enter the playoffs following yet another inconsistent but overall successful regular season.

Through their excellent three-point shooting and defense throughout the regular season, the 76ers, commonly referred to as the Sixers, aim to make a run to an NBA Finals victory.
The Sixers offense was the main reason for their success throughout the season.
The team had the third best offensive rating in the entire league, and the best three point percentage in the entire NBA, shooting 38.7% as a unit.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers squad throughout the regular season, putting up 33.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
Embiid’s efforts were enough to secure the scoring title, which is awarded to the highest average scorer per game.
James Harden spearheaded the playmaking for the team, achieving a league-high 10.7 assists per game.
The team’s season started poorly, with a 12-12 record by December 5 following a loss to the Houston Rockets.
Since that loss, the Sixers recorded a league-best 42-16 record to cap off the season.
However, within the numerous wins were hints of a lackluster Sixers squad that played atrociously for a few games at a time before bouncing back to look like contenders once again.
Unfortunately, the team ended the season losing half of their last 10 games and dropping from the second seed in the Eastern Conference to the third.
As the third seed in the playoffs, the Sixers will face off against the sixth seed: the Brooklyn Nets.
The Sixers will have a favorable matchup against the Nets that lost three superstars within the last two seasons, leaving them as a team looking to rebuild in the future.
One former-Nets superstar, James Harden, is now on the Sixers and looking to defeat his previous team.
The other two Nets superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, were traded away to the Suns and Mavericks respectively in February of this year.
Even after losing three world-class players, the Nets have remained a solid team.
This is largely in part to a blossoming Mikal Bridges who is leading the team’s offense with 27 points per game.
The Sixers will still win the seven game series in five games despite the Nets’ consistency following the losses of their superstars.
After defeating the Nets, the Sixers will more than likely go on to face a daunting Boston Celtics team in the second round.
The Sixers are notorious for exiting the playoffs in the second round following an extraordinarily promising season.
There will be immense pressure on the team to beat the Celtics, a long-time rival team of the Sixers, but will they be capable of doing so?
Since the all-star break in mid-February, the Celtics have achieved an above-average but not spectacular record of 13-8.
If the Celtics continue to underperform entering the playoffs, then the Sixers will have a legitimate chance of beating them and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Should the Sixers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, or the third round, they will likely face off against an almost unstoppable looking Milwaukee Bucks team.
Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are a team that looks unbeatable due to their impenetrable defense.
The Bucks dominate on defense and grab rebounds better than any other team in the NBA, but Embiid and Harden make for a lethal offensive duo that has proven capable of dismantling even the best defenses.
If the Sixers defeat the Bucks, they will then have to face a challenger from the Western Conference. That team will likely be the Phoenix Suns.
After acquiring Kevin Durant in February, the Suns have looked outstanding while he plays.
However, he has proven to be injury-prone, so his ability to play through the playoffs is questionable.
The Sixers have a favorable matchup against any of the Western Conference teams this year, they just have to make it through the gauntlet of the Eastern Conference.
If we can manage to defeat the Celtics and Bucks, then we should have no problem facing off against any of the relatively weak western squads.
Joel Embiid will need to keep up his MVP-level offensive production, James Harden will need to continue to make plays at an elite level and up-and-coming star, Tyrese Maxey, will need to continue to score and blow by defenses like he has done all year.
The Sixers will also need to continue to see consistent outside shooting from De’Anthony Melton, P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris and George Niang if they hope to take on these goliath challenges.
Their success will depend on how they handle high-pressure situations and if they can stay consistent throughout the entirety of their playoff run.