The Philadelphia 76ers head into the season with lofty expectations. So lofty that the team placed in Vegas’ top five favorites to win the NBA Finals. With all the roster movement, the Sixers are built to win on paper.
New additions Al Horford, Josh Richardson, and even Matisse Thybulle allow me to write with such confidence about the Sixers heading into the season. Starting with Big Al Horford, he’s a proven and respected veteran in the NBA with five All-Star appearances and one nod to second team All-Defense in 2018. Horford brings veteran wisdom to the team being playoff battle tested with the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.
Moving onto Josh Richardson, the man capable of doing similar things to both J.J. Redick and Jimmy Butler. Losing two starters like Redick and Butler means the team will need to find a way replace their scoring averages of 18 points per game a piece. Richardson will not be relied onto to carry the same offensive responsibility as the aforementioned Redick and Butler. Richardson’s defense, along with Horford and Thybulle, will be heavily valued to improve the team from 19th in the NBA last year in points allowed at 112.5 points per game.
With those expectations, I believe this team can win 56 games. In a dream scenario the team can win 60 games — the last Sixers team to do so was the 1982-83 NBA Champion Sixers. That’s a reach but my final prediction is that the Philadelphia 76ers will go 56-26 and claim the second seed in the Eastern Conference.