A 76ers playoff preview guide for you

By Kevin McLaughlin
March 20, 2020

Editor’s Note: At the time this story was written, the NBA had not yet canceled the season due to COVID-19.

Currently, the Philadelphia 76ers reside in sixth place in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association. Their record for the season 39-26.

Brett Brown, head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, has led the team to the playoffs in 2018 and 2019. Currently, he is on pace to bring playoff Philadelphia basketball back. However, this season seeding has been extremely different than the past couple of seasons.


Photo by Kevin McLaughlin of a 76ers playoff game from 2019 against the Brooklyn Nets

With such high expectations at the beginning of the season, Philadelphia has not reached the potential they were supposed to attain. The Philadelphia 76ers were projected to be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference this season, according to Sports Illustrated.

Injuries and a lack of production on the road have been the theme for Philadelphia this season. Star players Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have suffered back and shoulder issues. Simmons and Embiid, both all-stars this season, were the only two players from Philadelphia to be voted in. With a record of 10-24 on the road, the team appears to have a mental blockage when playing teams out of the Wells Fargo Center.

If the postseason were to begin today, the Philadelphia 76ers would be facing their longtime rival, the Boston Celtics. Boston has clinched a spot in the postseason officially with a record of 43-21. Although Philadelphia is 2-1 against Boston this season, for the majority of their history the 76ers usually tend to succumb to the Celtics. Since the 1985 season, Boston has won every postseason series against Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia 76ers could also possibly matched against the Indiana Pacers of the Miami Heat. This all depends on seeding and how the rest of the regular season pans out. This matchup appears to be favorable for Philadelphia.

Photo by Kevin McLaughlin of a 76ers playoff game from 2018 against the Miami Heat

Kyle McCaughey, sophomore psychology major, is a diehard Philadelphia 76ers fan who has watched the team closely this season. “I think the issue of the team leads back to Brett Brown,” McCaughey said in reference to the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. “This team has so much talent and there’s no reason for them not do fine in the playoffs.”

Jon Papp, sophomore business management major, is also an avid Philadelphia 76ers fan. Unlike McCaughey, Papp does not believe the issue should be pinned on Brett Brown. “For the playoffs, we need shooting around the perimeter,” Papp said. “Spacing the floor is the key for us to win and Tobias Harris needs to come in clutch for us.” Papp, who believes shooting is the issue, is correct from a statistical standpoint. Philadelphia is 21st out of 30 NBA teams in points per game. There lacks exceptional shooting when the team is below average for the season in points.

Mike Lelli, sophomore business management major, loves the Philadelphia 76ers and believes they can perform well in the postseason. “I like to think that we’re fine and that our bench will show up this season when needed,” Lelli said. “It isn’t great that we’re such a low seed right now, but come playoff time I don’t think it will matter much.” Lelli believes Philadelphia can match up well against any team from the Eastern Conference and could win every series to advance to the NBA Finals.


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Kevin McLaughlin

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