Philadelphia 76ers follow process to playoff spot

Mason Lucas, Sports Columnist

Prior to this season, the Philadelphia 76ers had not made the playoffs since the 2011-2012 season. Since then their former General Manager, Sam Hinkie, was a man who believed in analytics. He studied the numbers precariously, tanking began, and “The Process” was underway.

Through all the bad seasons, the bad draft picks, the awful records, and the injuries to promising young players the 76ers had drafted, Hinkie still believed. Unfortunately, Hinkie would not last long enough to see the rewards of his hard work.

This season, the 76ers have risen in the Eastern Conference behind The Process. One major reason is Joel Embiid, superstar big man in his second season after being injured the last two seasons. A second, goes by the nameme Ben Simmons. The first overall pick last year who is a rookie this year due to an injury that kept him out of the entire 2017 campaign.

Embiid, aka “The Process,” averaged 22.9 points per game (ppg), 11.0 rebounds per game (rpg), and 1.8 blocks per game (bpg). He lead the way for the 76ers as their best player on both sides of the floor. Embiid is a dominate low post presence with great skill and footwork to be the complete package on offense, while serving as an anchor on the defensive end.

Simmons, in his “rookie year,” averaged 15.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 8.2 assists per game (apg). Simmons was the 76ers second best player in his rookie campaign. His all-around versatility was shown on the offensive end as a constant triple double threat and a great defender when he wants to be (1.7 steals per game).

The 76ers also had a plethora of great young talent, as well as a few good veterans around these two superstars. Dario Saric, second year player from Croatia, is a great shooter and passer off the bench. JJ Redick is an all-time great shooter, and Robert Covington is a fantastic three-point shooter and defensive stopper.

The 76ers added two other good veteran pieces in sharpshooters Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova mid-season. The moves made the 76ers a sharpshooting all-around team with almost enough space to seamlessly drive a truck through the paint on offense.

And of course, who could forget about Brett Brown, head coach of the 76ers, who has the team firing on all cylinders. The team is the best passing team in the National Basketball Association and finished the regular season on a 16-game winning streak.

They finished with a 52-30 record, good enough for the third seed in the east, and have been butting heads with the Miami Heat in ther first-round..

The team has developed an all-around style of basketball and a winning culture. They have two superstars they can build around, and they are currently on fire. As they are becoming a favorite in the Eastern Conference to take the conference champions.

Even if they do not win the conference this year. Their culture and roster are set-up to be a big problem for all Eastern Conference foes. Then begging the question of not if they will complete the process by winning an NBA championship, but when?