The NBA Finals is a realistic goal for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Can they achieve it?
“I already picked the Sixers to get to the Finals,” NBA Hall of Famer, TNT analyst and former Sixer Charles Barkley tells me.
“It’s gonna be interesting. I”m counting on it.”
Currently sitting at 7-5 and in fifth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the Sixers made key moves this offseason. After failing to re-sign Jimmy Butler, Philly signed Al Horford, re-signed Tobias Harris, traded to get Josh Richardson, and drafted Matisse Thybulle out of the University of Washington.
“I see us near or at the top,” Thybulle told me.
“Based off of what they did last year and what we were able to add this year. Hopefully what I can bring to the table, I don’t see why there would be any reason for us to not be at the top.”
The Sixers have a moderate schedule from now through Thanksgiving; beginning with a matchup tomorrow night at Quicken Loans Arena against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cavs forward, Kevin Love has been playing good basketball with 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds. Tristan Thompson is having a career year so far with averages of 15.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest.
Philly will play the New York Knicks at home on Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs at home on Friday and will face former Sixer Jimmy Butler in Miami against the Miami Heat on Saturday.
For those keeping score at home: Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and four assists for the City of Brotherly Love during the 2018-2019 season.
Sitting at 8-3 and in second place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, Erik Spoelstra’s Heat are getting key buckets from a mixture of youth in rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro and veterans Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem, Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo and Justice Winslow.
The Philadelphia 76ers will play the Toronto Raptors on Monday November 25. Arguably a top-five player in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, Raptors forward, Pascal Siakam is putting up stellar numbers for the Raptors: 27.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Sixers will play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday November 27 and will head North up the New Jersey Turnpike on November 29 where they’ll play the New York Knicks. The following day, Philly will close the month by playing the Indiana Pacers at home.
Philly’s schedule, while busy is easily attainable and their core is playing in rhythm. On Friday, Tobias Harris broke out of his shooting slump against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harris scored 21 points (8-of-16 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with six rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes.
Ben Simmons who sat out a few games this month with shoulder issues is taking shape in his return. On Tuesday, Simmons scored 15 points (7-of-9 FGs, 1-of-3 FTs) with five rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes against the Cavaliers. In Wednesday’s loss to Orlando, Simmons posted 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and two turnovers in 35 minutes of action.
Joel Embiid scored 31 points (12-of-24 FGs, 3-of-6 FTs) with 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal and a season-high four 3-pointers in 38 minutes Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.