1 They are timing their run to perfection
Many components go into championship success and one of the key ingredients is timing. Philadelphia are the in-form team of the competition and are rolling on a 12-game winning streak. Aside from the Joel Embiid injury, everything seems to be coming together at the right time for the 76ers as they march toward the playoffs. If they can continue riding this momentum for another two months, we could see them hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy.
2 Joel Embiid is made for the big stage
It's no secret to any NBA fan that Embiid loves the spotlight. His endearing jovial demeanour and social media antics may sometimes give him the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but he backs it up with his play in big games. If he can get healthy in time for the 76ers playoff run, all eyes will be on him and he will deliver.
3 They have the Rookie of the Year in Ben Simmons
The race for the Rookie of the Year award appears to be a two-horse one between Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia's Ben Simmons. Whilst Mitchell can score the basketball like no other rookie, Simmons can do everything else like no other rookie. Simmons leads all rookies in rebounds, assists and steal per game. Averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists on the season, Simmons is a unique talent that should walk away with Rookie of the Year and lead 76ers into the postseason.
4 Elite shot making and floor spacing
The biggest slight on Simmons' game is his inability to shoot the basketball. This may be the case, but what he lacks as an individual is more than compensated for by the collective as Philadelphia are loaded with perimeter shooting. JJ Redick has been one of the best 3-point specialists in the last decade and an excellent gun-for-hire acquisition for the 76ers. Dario Saric has taken his game to another level and is shooting 40% from 3-point range for the season.
Midseason pickups Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova are essentially carbon copies of Redick and Saric for the second unit so they can maintain their floor spacing at all times. Add to the mix starting small forward Robert Covington with a 37% 3-point field goal percentage and TJ McConnell (42%) and Jerryd Bayless (37%) off the bench. With Simmons becoming an elite floor general and this level of floor spacing, they could do some serious damage in the playoffs.
5 They have fun
Watching the 76ers on and off the court, they look like they have the most fun out of any NBA team. They don't have the championship pressure that teams like Golden State and Houston carry. They don't have the individual pressure to perform like LeBron James or Steph Curry. They're playing carefree basketball, staying loose and doing what comes naturally to them. If they can maintain this mindset in the pressure-cooker playoff environment, other teams may crack and Philadelphia could thrive.
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