As Philadelphia 76ers improve, Cleveland Cavaliers falter

PHILADELPHIA,PA - DECEMBER 15 : Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers gets instruction from Head Coach Brett Brown against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA,PA - DECEMBER 15 : Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers gets instruction from Head Coach Brett Brown against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – MARCH 1: LeBron James
CLEVELAND, OH – MARCH 1: LeBron James /

NBA’s balance

Like every professional sport, what one team wins, another team must lose. For the Philadelphia 76ers to earn a respectable spot in the NBA, they must replace another team. While many saw the Cleveland Cavaliers as the epitome of the NBA Eastern Conference,  some saw future weakness.

After all, the team was engineered from the free agent return of LeBron James, the trade of Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, and the 2011 first round pick Kyrie Irving. That formed their NBA Championship triad.  But the team was made up of dissimilar parts. Bot LeBron and Irving excel best with the ball in their hands. And despite the team drafting Irving in 2011, the team became LeBron’s from the moment he returned to the Cavaliers in 2014. That same year, the Philadelphia 76ers had a very important draft.

That 2014 NBA Draft

The 2017 Philadelphia 76ers needed that 2014 NBA Draft to get it all started. An NBA lottery which seemed to set the Philadelphia 76ers behind the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, set the wheels in motion. That lottery placed the Cavs  on course to get Wiggins, and in turn, Love. But that same draft placed the Philadelphia 76ers on course.

https://youtu.be/na1UNluuPEs

Now, those forces kick in.

Next: Dario Saric leads Philadelphia 76ers over NY Knicks 118-101

That 2014 NBA Draft delivered both Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. And that Saric selection began with the team drafting point guard Elfrid Payton, and then trading him for the right to get Saric at 12, the 2017 first round pick returned, and the second round pick which delivered Richaun Holmes. The pieces which now power the Philadelphia 76ers, had origins in 2014. And the players now driving the Philadelphia 76ers arrived to the team four years ago. Four years is time enough for the NBA changing of the guard.