Why the Philadelphia 76ers are the true underdogs in Orlando

Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Optimism about the Philadelphia 76ers’ title chances is warranted.

Coming into Orlando, the Philadelphia 76ers have a record of 39-26, placing them sixth in the Eastern Conference — which is way lower than what was expected of them at the initiation of the season. When analyzing their performance on both ends of the court, they have a net rating of 109.7 on the offensive aspect placing them behind 17 other teams in the NBA (making them a clear cut underdog). This is absolutely shocking, and is totally not acceptable by any standards.

Their offense is something which needs major work, however on the positive side, on the other end of the court they have a defensive rating of 107.6, which places them behind only five other teams. Although this is way better than the offensive rating, I believe there is room for improvement, and it could be a little higher considering they have one of the tallest frontcourts in the entire NBA.

Having said all that, one may not give the Sixers much of a chance on going on a good run in the postseason. To be honest, with the expectations so low, the only way is up for the men in blue. The best case scenario, they go further than they did last season with Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, and the worse case scenario they get knocked out in the first round (putting Brett Brown’s future in jeopardy with the team).

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Coming in from the four-month break in quarantine gave the Sixers a much needed rest. Two important developments came of it.

1. Ben Simmons got to recover fully from his lower back injury, which was looking to hold him out for the entire regular season (and maybe postseason) prior to the shutdown.
2. Joel Embiid also got a breather after missing five earlier games with a sprained left shoulder.

Hopes going forward…

In my opinion, I think the changes to the rotation made by Brett Brown are very promising and this gives them a true chance at a championship (knowing very well that there are other teams in the East which are looking pretty scary). I believe the talent on the squad is undeniably special, from one to five, I have total faith in all the players and what they bring to the table in the championship aspirations of the Sixers.

The final run home for the Sixers consists of the following teams: Pacers, Spurs, Wizards, Magic, Trail Blazers, Suns, Raptors and Rockets. This run home is quite favorable for the Sixers, knowing it does not consist of the better teams in the Western Conference.

Another vital point to keep in mind is that so far: the Sixers have beaten the  Celtics, Nuggets, Heat, Bucks, Lakers and Clippers at least once already. They have shown that they are capable of achieving these feats with their previous lineup, hence proving to us why not again, but this time if they meet up in the playoffs.

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It is important to not give up hope yet, as the Sixers are really the true underdogs of this season restart in Orlando.