Sixers seeking a strong second half



Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, right, talks to his team during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

The NBA has reached its second half of the season. Yes, already, we are in the homestretch of the regular season for professional basketball. Trades have been made, players have been signed, coaches have been fired, and a new all-time leading point scorer has been crowned. Back in Philadelphia, however, the storylines haven’t changed. 

The 76ers started out with what was a very important season for the entire organization. Expectations were very high, coaches were on the hot seat, and nobody truly knew what to expect. Beginning the season 12-12 was not the start Philly was looking for. The Sixers would go on to win 26 of their next 33 games before the All-Star break. 

Sitting at third in the Eastern Conference, stakes are high for this 76ers ballclub the rest of the way. Earning a high seed for the playoffs is crucial for a conference filled with talent across the board. With only 25 games left before the playoffs, each and every game is going to be key to fueling a deep playoff run. 

Starting off with a challenging eight-game stretch, the play of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyreese Maxey is going to have to be stellar in order to pull out some wins from these games. At this point in the year Philadelphia cannot afford to struggle especially with the postseason right around the corner. 

Having the third best defense in the league up to this point, the 76ers will look to their defense to step up to win these difficult games down the stretch. With many talented offenses in the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia’s defense needs to be lockdown in order to make a run at the NBA title. 

Continuing to distribute the basketball is also of utter importance for the 76ers as well. They have found a great deal of success when their ball movement has been good. Getting the defense to move will open up more space in the middle for Joel Embiid to do his work. If Embiid gets space, he will heat up quickly. If Embiid heats up, the offense gets going. And if the offense gets going, it’s very hard to beat this Sixers team. 

Being a team that has struggled in the postseason over the past few years, the Sixers have to play at their best in order to play up through June. A big concern for Philly the past few years has been coaching and the play of the bench. Last year, the Sixers lost to Miami primarily because of a lack of depth, and the year before they were eliminated by the Hawks because of poor coaching. If they can overcome these obstacles, then they will be set up for success. 

It has been a very long time since the Philadelphia 76ers have been in the NBA finals. There’s been a pandemic, four different presidents, and many more events that have occurred in this time. Sixers fans have waited for another opportunity to watch their team play for a championship. In a year where organizations just across the street have had their chance, it’s time for the team inside Wells Fargo Center to get theirs.