3 things that need to happen for the Philadelphia 76ers to make the playoffs

Improvement is finally in sight.  Tanking should be over.  The Philadelphia 76ers’, and Sam Hinkie’s, plan of being terrible to acquire assets and cap space has accomplished just that.  The Sixers have a plethora of young talent in Markelle Fultz, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric.  They had enough cap space to lure J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson to Philadelphia.  The process has done what it has set out to do. One key aspect is still missing: competing.  The team improved their record by eighteen wins last season.  Still, they won only twenty eight games.  For the process to be a success, the Sixers need to make the playoffs and become NBA Finals contenders.  Here’s how it can happen.

First, the team must stay healthy.  Embiid and Simmons have already sat out full seasons.  Fultz sprained his ankle earlier this summer.  If the prized young players who were drafted early in the first round of recent drafts can’t stay healthy, it will no doubt set the team back.  Hopefully these injuries aren’t common occurrences.  It’s possible the team has taken extra precaution to allow the players to heal until all of them are ready to play together and win.  If not, Philadelphia basketball could be stuck in the lottery for much longer.

Second, Brett Brown must find a way to maximize the talent on the roster.  This includes finding the right rotations, strategies, roles, and transactions for the team and it’s players.  Is Ben Simmons the point guard?  Will he guard the opposing point guard or the opposing small forward?  Will Dario Saric, Redick, or Robert Covington start?  How will Brown distribute the minutes to bench players Amir Johnson, Jerryd Bayless, T.J. McConnell, Nik Stauskas, Richaun Holmes, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot?  Will Jahlil Okafor play a role on the team or be traded?  These are a few questions the coach must figure out for the team to maximize their potential.

The third, and final, thing the Sixers need to do this year to make the playoffs is to play together unselfishly.  If the team doesn’t mesh over their roles and someone wants to be the alpha dog when they aren’t (cough cough Kyrie Irving) the team could implode.  The Sixers have stockpiled many young, prideful, outspoken players.  As of right now, they all seem to be excited to play with each other and build something special in the City of Brotherly Love.  If the team is blessed with good health, Brett Brown figures out all the technicalities, and egos do not come into play, the Sixers have a great chance of making the playoffs this year.

Yardbarker: NBA

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