NBA Playoffs 2024 format, dates, rounds: Analyzing potential 76ers first-round foes

The Philadelphia 76ers are likely to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
76ers, Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Brunson
76ers, Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Brunson / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Potential first-round opponents for the 76ers

Cleveland Cavaliers

Season Series: 76ers lead, 2-1

The Numbers: Cleveland (16th in ORtg, 3rd in DRtg) vs Philadelphia (6th in ORtg, 14th in DRtg)

After a stale start to the season, Cleveland has consistently been one of the best teams in the league for quite some time now, trumping a bunch of injuries to their core players to remain in the East’s upper tier.

The Cavaliers have an intimidating quarter with Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen to go along with their pretty deep cast of solid contributors off the bench. JB Bickerstaff has done a masterful job at staggering his two big men’s minutes, resulting in much more seamless play centered on their dominant defense and much-improved perimeter play.

That being said, the 76ers have played them well this season, even without Embiid. Philadelphia has the offensive firepower to keep up and even overpower Cleveland, though the Cavs undoubtedly have a deeper roster and a more imposing defense.