The sixers prevailed in a 118-98 win over the magic Thursday night to win their 5th game in a row. Ersan Illaysova lead the way with 18, as they cruised to a 20-point victory. The sixers are now 41-30 on the season, with having the easiest remaining schedule left in the NBA.
I look for this team to compete for home court advantage as either a 3 or 4 seed, but more realistically as a 4, 5, or 6th seed. This team is really coming together and it is fun to see. I can see them possibly winning a first round series, depending on their seed. People look at Simmons and Embiid to be the two guys that are the focal point of this team’s success, but the unsung hero to me this season is Dario Saric. He is averaging 15 points per game, 7 rebounds and is shooting 40% from 3 and 86 from the free throw line, which are both above average. If Covington and Reddick can continue to shoot the 3 well, along with Saric, this team can possibly win a 1st round series.
Following this rookie of year race, I easily have Ben Simmons as my rookie of the year. He leads rookies in every main category expect scoring, which is led by Donavan Mitchell. Simmons isn’t only the rookie of the year this year, but he is also the one of the best rookies of all time. He has 8 triple doubles this season, which is 2nd all time among rookies. Mitchell is a great player in his own right and has his Jazz as a playoff team right now, but Ben Simmons is too good not to win Rookie of the Year. Once he develops his outside game, he will be one of the best players in basketball.
Potential playoff matchups for the sixers.
Cavaliers- I think the sixers match up well against the Cavs. The sixers have played them well all season and have even beat them in 1 game with one more still left to play. However, they still have LeBron James, who is the best basketball player in the world, and that will probably be enough to beat the sixers in the 7-game series
Cavs in 6 or 7
Pacers-This would probably be a very close series if these two teams played each together. Indiana has beaten the sixers 3 times this year. Even though I think the Sixers are the better team I think the Pacers outduel them in a 7-game series
Pacers in 7
Wizards-With or without John Wall, the sixers have played them well this year splitting the series 2-2 this season. Embid will handle Gortat and Simmons can defend Wall in a 7-game series. As long as you have Covington, one of the best 3 and d players in the league, on Bradley Beal, the sixers should be able to handle the Wizards
Sixers in 7
Heat- This would be a fun series to watch if these two teams somehow would matchup, as this is the least likely matchup that will happen since Miami is a 7th seed right now and Sixers are a 4th seed. I think the sixers win this series in a tough battle that will definitely go to 7 games.
Sixers in 7