1. No spring chickens
The 76ers were not rolling out a bunch of kids in 1983. Andrew Toney at 25 years old was the youngest player who saw a good amount of playing time. Even rookie starting power forward Marc Iavaroni was almost 27 after a career playing in Europe.
This was also a group of players who were playoff tested. They knew the pressure cooker of the postseason.
This was Julius Erving’s fourth NBA finals in seven years, the third in four years for Bobby Jones, reserve guard Clint Richardson and Maurice Cheeks, and the second for Moses Malone (having lost with Houston to Boston in 1981) and Toney.
The ’83 Sixers two main pieces — Erving was 33, Malone was 28 — were veterans with a combined 19 years of NBA experience.
The 2020 Sixers’ two main cogs are younger in comparison, as they rely on 24-year-old Ben Simmons and 26-year-old Joel Embiid. They had played a combined five seasons going into the year and never gone farther than the conference semifinals.
With the exception of 33-year-old Al Horford, whose previous teams have reached the conference finals, the other Sixers main players are like Simmons and Embiid, in their early 20s or late 20s with no experience of being part of a long playoff run.
Lesson to learn: You can afford to have one youngster if they are super talented (like a Toney), but you need veterans who know the ins and outs of the playoff process, as it is a long slog to go through four best-of-seven series.
History does not show the Sixers ‘have to win now’ to get a championship as Simmons and Embiid should only get better with additional experience.