Cleveland Cavaliers still aren’t a real threat to the Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

It appears that the trade that landed Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers is the last major domino to drop this offseason. While that move doesn’t involve the Philadelphia 76ers directly it still impacts them.

The Sixers are trying to contender and the Eastern Conference was already loaded with very good teams and this Mitchell trade just added another talented team to deal with. However, just how big of an impact does this trade have on Philly?

The Cavaliers can’t challenge the Philadelphia 76ers this year.

Last season the Cavaliers were a young and upcoming team that dealt with injuries that derailed any postseason hopes. They had an impressive young core of All-Stars Darius Garlands and Jarrett Allen, along with talented rookie Evan Mobley.

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That core now gets the addition of Mitchell who averaged close to 26 points per game last year. This is good considering that Garland was the only source of offense last season. It was certainly a good move for the Cavs, but they still aren’t a threat to the Sixers.

A backcourt of Garland and Mitchell is susceptible on defense due to their lack of size. They are going to have a hard time defending Philly’s backcourt of Tyrese Maxey and James Harden. While Allen and Mobley can help on defense, it’s a weakness the Cavs have on the perimeter moving forward.

Probably the more glaring issue is that while Allen and Mobley are elite defensive big men, neither have a chance of slowing down Joel Embiid. Last season, Embiid averaged 35.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting from the field against Cleveland last season.

All this isn’t to say that the Cavs might cause issues for the Philadelphia 76ers during the regular season. When it comes to seeding in the East the Cavs could make getting a higher spot more difficult, but when the postseason play comes around, the Sixers still have the advantage. They were 4-0 against Cleveland last year and there’s not enough change with either franchise to believe that the 76ers won’t have a winning record against them again this year.

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