Philadelphia 76ers: Record predictions for the 2019-20 season

Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

AJ Iezzi

As Philly fans we’re conditioned to be pessimistic. Heartbreak is familiar. The national chatter about one of our teams having major aspirations is discomforting. If you were born in the 90s you’ve been alive for two championship parades in the 215. Lowering expectations lessens the harshness when they ultimately fall short.

This Sixers team should be an exception to the normalized mindset Philadelphia has harbored. This will be a team that you should invest in. The Sixers have the parts to do some serious damage in the NBA.

The starting lineup of Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, and Joel Embiid is gushing with size, skill, and intelligence. They’re a mismatch freight-train. The defensive potential is sky-high. With the exception of top-tier small ball lineups, the Sixers’ first five can overmatch a vast amount of teams.

The Sixers bench features three guys that can defend and shoot from distance: Mike Scott, James Ennis III, and Matisse Thybulle. Kyle O’Quinn is a great playmaker and a center that can avoid getting annihilated for small stretches (a.k.a. every backup center that played against Toronto). The backup point guard position will be able to adjust by the game with Trey Burke and Raul Neto.

My only question with the bench is being able to consistently put points up. I think the final version of this Sixers team has two bench pieces not currently on this roster, and they will be a shot creating wing and one more defensive wing.

Don’t overthink it or get complex when thinking about the Sixers. They’re a top two team in the East, with ideal defensive personnel to take on Milwaukee. The Sixers can rebound, score, and defend at high rates. They have the talent to sleepwalk to wins. The Sixers won’t be perfect and there will definitely be points where they look vulnerable, but late in the season this team will be terrifying. If the Sixers can head into the postseason with a healthy team, they can make a serious run.

This has been the team Brett Brown has been working towards. The soul-crushing loss in Canada will be the catalyst to one of the best teams in franchise history. Get ready to shush the Simmons haters and Embiid diet shamers. Put your faith in this team and let your expectations run wild. The Sixers are for real.

Final prediction: 56-26