Sixers a Top Team in Outlet’s Future Power Rankings

Ben Simmons Joel Embiid

Getty Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers get back on defense during a game against the Washington Wizards.

Entering Tuesday night’s bout with the Indiana Pacers, things are looking as good as they have all season long for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philly has won eight straight games, pushing its record to 47-21 on the season. As a result, the team is on the cusp of clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with just a handful of games remaining until postseason play tips off.

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid continues to perform at an MVP level and Ben Simmons is making a strong push for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

As good as things are now, though, the future may be just as bright for the Sixers.  So much so, in fact, that a certain four-letter network just ranked them among the top franchises in the Association in terms of where they could go and what they could accomplish in the years to come.

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ESPN Puts Sixers in Top Five of its Future Rankings

Who Will Win The East?The Eastern Conference is a tight race with the NBA playoffs just one week away. The Philadelphia 76ers currently sit atop of the standings, but the Bucks and Nets should still scare the Sixers.2021-05-10T18:47:50Z

On Tuesday, ESPN published its annual NBA future power rankings. As always, the list aims to evaluate each team’s potential for on-court success over the next three seasons.

After coming in at No. 12 last season, the Sixers now boast an elite-level ranking according to the outlet. In the latest edition of the rankings — which were compiled by ESPN NBA insiders Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks — Philly hit the list at No. 5 overall.

According to Pelton, the relative youth of the Sixers’ core was a major determination in their placement.

“It’s worth remembering that the Sixers’ core is relatively young compared to their competitors for the Eastern Conference title,” he wrote. “Joel Embiid is in his prime at age 27, while Ben Simmons won’t turn 25 until July.”

Pelton also praised the franchise’s current power structure.

“In his first year on the job, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has skillfully rebuilt around his stars, putting the 76ers atop the regular-season standings in the East. With Morey and new head coach Doc Rivers, Philly boasts a management team we rated tied for first in the NBA. And the Sixers also benefit from having all their own first-round picks going forward, unlike the contenders ahead of them who have already made win-now moves.”

Sixers Dominating on Both Sides of the Ball

For the most part, the Sixers’ defense has been singled out as the secret to their success in 2020-21. More recently, though, the team has been dominating on both sides of the court.

During Philly’s eight-game win streak, the club has topped the league in defensive efficiency, allowing just 101.4 points per 100 possessions. The Sixers’ offensive execution has also been on point, though. Over the same span, the Sixers have logged an offensive rating of 119.5.

That’s the sixth-best mark in the Association during that time frame.

While it doesn’t exactly jibe with the modern NBA, Philly’s ability to convert off of post-ups continues to be a big part of its offense. During the streak, the Sixers have put up a league-best 13.3 points per game from the post.

That’s a 34% uptick from its year-long number of 9.9 (which also leads the league).

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