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30 in 30: The 2020-21 Philadelphia 76ers

The 2021 season is likely it for the Embiid/Simmons pairing if they don’t make the Eastern Conference Finals. And they definitely could.

Wells Fargo Center by Peetlesnumber1 is licensed under CC BY SA-4.0

30 in 30: The 2020-21 Philadelphia 76ers

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

If you can believe it, the NBA season is just around the corner. That’s a fact. And since it’s been forever since we’ve seen half of the league in action, we had an idea. In the spirit of reminding ourselves that time is moving forward, let’s look ahead to the 2021 NBA Season, team-by-team. So let’s dive in and talk about the Philadelphia 76ers, and see how the Sixers Process is coming along.

The Philadelphia 76ers

2020 Record: 43-30

2020 Finish: 13th in the NBA, 6th in the Eastern Conference.

How It Started

Philly made a major move last offseason when they added PF/C Al Horford. This was seen as a double-win as it improved the 76ers while also weakening their conference rival the Boston Celtics.

The team opened with the fifth-best championship odds in the league and the future of the Joel Embiid/Ben Simmons power couple seemed bright.

However, the reality was very different as Philadelphia was Jekyll and Hyde depending on the venue (HOME 31-4 / AWAY 12-26). The 76ers finished 6th in the Eastern Conference and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics.

It should be noted Simmons was injured late in the year and missed the playoffs. But where the 76ers would have still had to play all their playoff games on the road in the bubble, the outcome with a healthy Simmons likely would not have been very different.

How It’s Going

Philadelphia let go of head coach Brett Brown shortly after their playoff loss. They replaced him with former Clippers and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Rivers brings a championship pedigree and experience with coaching teams with upper-echelon talent groupings (KG/Pierce/Allen, CP3/Blake/DeAndre, Kawhi/PG13/Zubac).

The 76ers have also added former Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey as their President of Basketball Operations, and made some major changes to the roster.

Al Horford was dumped to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green in a move that made many wonder how much money did OKC exec Sam Presti actually owe Morey? Green will be joined on his new team with fellow sharpshooter Seth Curry, whom Philly acquired from Dallas for Josh Richardson.

Also, the 76ers signed Dwight Howard to replace Horford as their backup center. Excuse me, NBA Champion Dwight Howard.

Final Minutes

This is likely it for the Embiid/Simmons pairing if they don’t make the Eastern Conference Finals. And they might not even get this last opportunity as Simmons-for-James Harden trade rumors gained major traction as soon as Morey was hired.

Philadelphia still improved as much as any Eastern Conference contender. The new coach/President dynamic should energize a team that felt like it had given up last year (especially in the playoffs).

This team has as much potential as any to reach the Finals. The question is whether this is finally the year the team with so much potential actually does something with it.

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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