‘The Process’ pays off, Sixers finish season 1st in the East

After the Sixers were swept in the first round of the playoffs last year, fans were pessimistic about the 2021 season. The team then won the Eastern Conference.

With the help of “The Process” the Sixers won the East for the first time since 2001. “The Process” was a strategy the Sixers started in 2013 that involved them trading all their star players at the time for younger players that they would then take in the NBA draft.
This period between 2013 all the way until 2017 was painful for their fans due to those younger players like Joel Embiid taking time to develop into the players they are today.
“The Process” started the night of the 2013 NBA draft when former Sixers GM Sam Hinke traded the Sixers All Star point guard Jrue Holiday for a 2014 first round draft pick and for injured center Nerlens Noel.
The following season is when the pain started for Sixers fans as the team lost 26 games in a row, and finished the season with only 19 wins and 63 losses.
The next year, with that first round pick they had secured the year before, the Sixers selected Joel Embiid with the 3rd overall pick in the draft.
This pick in hindsight was great, but the team lost 23 games in a row, finished the season 19-63 in 2014, and traded away Michael Carter-Williams, as well as Thaddeus Young for more draft picks. This cycle continued for a few years until 2017, when “The Process” started a new faze. The Sixers actually made the playoffs.
With the help of home grown players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the team made the semifinals, but lost to the Celtics.
Even though they lost the series, this signaled a new phase for the team. Instead of tanking, or intentionally trying to lose, “The Process” had changed its philosophy. The team was now going for it all to try and win a championship for the city of Philadelphia, with home grown players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and other players acquired via free agency or trade like Tobias Harris.
That leads to the present day, where the Sixers are hungry as ever for glory. The team just has not been able to get to the finals since then, but this year may finally be the year.
The Sixers finished with a 49-23 record and finished as the first seed in the Eastern conference, 1 game above the Nets, and 3 games above the Bucks.
The Sixers were led by Joel Embiid, who has turned into an MVP candidate, who averaged about 28.5 points per game in 2021.
Ben Simmons killed it on defense, being 7th in steals, along with 72 rebounds per game and 6.9 assists per game. Tobias Harris, after coming off a, well, not so great 2020 season, had an average of 19.5 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and had a career high 35 assists per game.