Philadelphia 76ers Gearing Up for Playoff Run


Pictured from left to right: Dario Saric (#9), Joel Embiid (#21), and Ben Simmons (#25). (Via Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Mac Ireland, Sports Writer

As the NBA all-star break and trade deadline approach many teams are gearing up for the playoffs. The Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams in playoff contention, as they look to break their six year postseason drought. In the years since the team has gone through a gruesome rebuild, rallying behind the term, “Trust the Process” and at 24-24, an even .500, the Sixers hold one game lead over the Detroit Pistons for the 8th seed in the East.

In order to achieve this, Philadelphia needs to focus on learning from their mistakes. Philadelphia has lost quite a few games this season where they were in position to win the game, largely in part of a lack of excecution. Although the Sixers are a team that relies on its youth, with 11 players on their 15 man roster under the age of 25, it is their inexperience that has proved to be their Achilles heel during the latter half of games. The only way to fix this is by learning from their mistakes and being sure to handle the situation differently next time.

The second part of 76ers making the playoffs is making roster moves. With the trade deadline quickly approaching Philly should look to add some talent to help them with their playoff push. Essentially they should make a move for a veteran player who can contribute and has plenty of playoff experience. Joe Johnson has recently expressed that he wants out of Utah and he is a guy whose contract they can absorb as well as someone who can provide scoring and ball-handling duties off the bench. His three-point percentage is down this year, but Johnson is known for being a streaky player. Maybe a move to a younger team in the playoff hunt would give him a spark. The best part about trading for Johnson is that he is on an expiring contract. The Sixers aren’t stuck with Johnson on their payroll next season if they decide to part ways.

Another name swirling in trade rumors is Tyreke Evans. Memphis has shut down Evans while they pursue a trade partner for him. He is having his best season since his rookie year averaging 19.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game while also shooting a career-high 39% from three. Evans is also on an extremely cheap contract of $3.2 million per year. He is underpaid for his value on the court which puts him at the top of many teams wish list. Luckily the Sixers have plenty of assets to throw at Memphis depending on how desperate they are to bring him in.

Those two players only scratch the surface of the trade market. The trade block is filled with tons of talent right now and things are expected to get crazy within the next couple of weeks. Expect Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo to explore all options to put his team in the best spot to compete.

For the Sixers, playing in the postseason, which is definitely obtainable, these young players will be able to gain viable experience at such a young age, that will be great for their development.