Philadelphia, after 15 games, is already proving itself to be the class of the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. The Sixers have a five game lead over the struggling New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Already twenty percent into the season, Philadelphia fans are wondering: can this team make a deep playoff run?
Doug Collins has this team playing very well. Not only do they rank near the top of the NBA in points, rebounds, and assists per game, but they are also number two in points allowed per game, at just under 87. The Sixers have yet to play a lot of top quality teams. They have lost to those New York Knicks, the Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers, and Denver Nuggets. Tonight, we will find out more about this team as they play the Miami Heat.
This playoff run will most rely on Spencer Hawes. Spencer is averaging ten points and eight rebounds per game. An achilles injury has sidelined him for the past week, but Nikola Vucevic has done a decent job of filling in. However, Hawes had been playing well before he left. His defense and outside scoring have helped open the floor up for the rest of his team. He has had some monster games, and if the Sixers are to make a deep playoff run, he will need to play at a high level every night.
Evan Turner and Jrue Holliday are starting to come into their own to nicely compliment Andre Iguodala on the scoring side. One thing this team does exceptionally well is spreading the scoring around, as seven players are averaging over ten points per game. Turner is still adjusting to life in the NBA, but he is finally playing at a level that was expected when he was drafted number two. He still has a problem with consistency, but he is getting better.
This team has the possibility of making a deep playoff run, but they need to continue to play in the bigger games and continue to build their confidence, though it is not like they are not playing with confidence. Doug Collins has been to the big stage before, and knows what it will take from his team to get there.
I think the Sixers can make the second round, where a potential matchup with perhaps Miami or Orlando could doom the Sixers. However, these are the playoffs, so you cannot count anyone out.
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