2023 Philadelphia 76ers Rise: Fantasy or Reality to Key Playoffs for Embiid and Harden - Sportish
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2023 Philadelphia 76ers Rise: Fantasy or Reality to Key Playoffs for Embiid and Harden



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Since 2023 began, only one team has won more games than them Philadelphia 76ers (Milwaukee Bucks, 27), there is only one team with a better offensive efficiency (Sacramento Kings, 121.6) and another with a higher number in net score (Cleveland Cavaliers, +6.4). The Sixers They have performed fantastically since they celebrated the new year, proving that their status as a contender was justified and it was only a matter of time before they reached the expected performance point.

The beginning of men Doc Rivers It was worrisome (1-4), but Philly knew how to quickly correct course and make their pieces work as they should. In a season as long as the NBA regular season, the important thing is not to start well, but to finish high, and the 76ers are in the best moment of the season.

With 7 straight wins and 15 in the last 20 games, the Sixers appear a few weeks before the Playoffs in the best possible shape. A rather unusual situation in Philadelphia, where problems and irregularities have been consistent for the past five years.

Their offense is great, the numbers show they are one of the best teams in the NBA, and they have a solid MVP candidate leading the way.

So how real is the performance of these 76ers? And more importantly, will they be able to carry it into the Playoffs? It’s time to break it down.

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Embiid and Harden, the best pair in the league?

Joel Embiid James Harden Philadelphia 76ers
(NBA Entertainment)

the duo Joel Embiid-James Harden He is one of the most dangerous offensively in the entire NBA.

Without going further, The beard collects 218 assists intended for the interior of Cameroon, the best data by a wide margin in relation to the second pair (Jokic to Gordon, 139). Both complement each other perfectly because of the spaces in which they are vulnerable. Harden is a master of the direct block, able to handle all kinds of angles, while Embiid is extremely accurate on jump shots as well as on his drives to the basket.

By simply adding some data to this statement, the base produces 1.21 points per possession at the finish after a direct block and the African 1.33 in the jumps in this same type of sequences. In short, two offensive weapons that are very difficult to stop or moderate when they can show off their style.

However, the real challenge for these two will come in the Playoffs when they face other pairings of equal or greater talent. How do Harden and Embiid compare to them? These are the numbers of the best pairs of the main candidates:

pos. Pair of offensive percentage defense ratio Net Rating
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday 118.8 106.8 +12.0
2 Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray 123.1 111.2 +11.9
3 Joel Embiid and James Harden 120.9 111.5 +9.4
4 Chris Paul and Devin Booker 117.7 109.3 +8.4
5 Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland 116.2 109.6 +6.7
6 Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown 117.5 111.3 +6.2
7 Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox 120.1 116.3 +3.9

The Sixers aren’t hitting Conference Finals since 2001, that is, more than two decades ago. A streak they want to end this year. But for this they must bend Celtics, Heat or Hawks in a hypothetical Conference Semifinal almost certainly, to deal with later Bucks or Cavs in a possible Eastern Finals. Big words for two stars who lately have been characterized by collapse due to injuries or performance at the most critical moment of the route.

Embiid has played injured in two of the last three editions of the Playoffs, while Harden dropped his scoring contribution by 3.8 points and his assists by 1.6 in the postseason compared to the regular season between 2021 and 2022.

The doubts with both are there, but there’s no doubt that these Sixers and this particular pair have virtually nothing to do with him nearly blowing a 3-0 lead against the Raptors last year.

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The defense, the big concern of the Sixers

PJ Tucker
(Getty Images)

In the last five years it has become commonplace for a team with a defending inside top 10 efficiency get in the NBA Finals. The clearest example occurred last year when the Celtics and Warriors were the main players in the race for the ring after finishing in first and second place, respectively. In fact, you should go back 2020 with his 12th place Miami Heat to find the first finalist outside the top 10, with the asterisk supposed to be these Playoffs.

In this 2022-2023 defense data received Philadelphia 76ers must be examined Magnifier. Yes, they are in sixth place (112.1), but since the start of the new year they are in 17th place (115.2). A difference in numbers related to the defensive performance of the second unit, 9th worst in the NBA defensively.

Without an elite defense it is impossible to win today. In favor of the Sixers is the fact that they have specialists such as PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, Jalen McDaniels or Embiid himselfbut also high minute holes like Harden, Milton or Harrell.

The nail they hold from Philadelphia lies in the defensive performance of their core quintet, consisting of Embiid, Tucker, Harris, Harden and Maxey, who is second better with at least 300 minutes. Ahead of the Warriors champions line-up with Wiggins replacing Poole:

pos. Equipment Quintet defense ratio
1 warriors Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green and Looney Tunes 106.1
2 76 year olds Embiid, Tucker, Harris, Harden and Maxey 107
3 hawks Capela, Collins, Hunter, Murray and Young 108.8
4 bulls Vucevic, Williams, DeRozan, LaVine and Dosunmu 109.6
5 Nuggets Jokic, Gordon, Caldwell-Pope, Brown and Murray 109.9

With the work at stake in his case Sixersits ever-closer beginning Playoffs 2023 it presents itself as a unique opportunity to show that they are title contenders rather than contenders.

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the NBA or its organizations.

Source: Sporting News

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The Mavericks are one step away from fiasco, their schedule and ties not in their favor




Losing to the Heat put the Mavericks in even more trouble chasing a Western playground as they stayed in 11th place. But things are looking…even worse as their schedule looks dangerous until the end of the season and the ties aren’t on their side.

Luka Doncic’s partnership with Kyrie Irving hasn’t yielded the results the Mavericks expected. Dallas was 4th in the West when they took over Irving from the Nets on February 6th. Almost two months later, after losing to the – without Bam Adebayo – Heat, Dallas are 11th(!) in the West and are struggling to get into the play-in, with the odds not being on their side.

The Mavericks have basically put their hands up and gouged out their eyes for the past few days. The back-to-back losses to the indifferent Hornets have practically turned things on their head for Doncic’s company Irving, who instead sits 10th in the West with a 39-39 record (level with Wolves, who are 9th in the West). are out of play-in and things are looking extremely bad.

To be precise, here are the rankings in the West at places 7-12:
7. New Orleans Pelicans 40-38
8. LA Lakers 39-38
9.Minnesota Timberwolves 39-39
10. Oklahoma City Thunder 38-40
11 Dallas Mavericks 37-41
12. Utah Jazz 36-41

The Mavericks are 1 game behind the Thunder, 2 behind the Wolves, 2.5 behind the Lakers and 3 behind the Pelicans, while the Jazz are a half game behind them in 12th place. With the exception of the Lakers and Jazz – who have 5 games left – the other teams battling for a play-in spot (Pelicans have realistic hopes for even 5th place) have 4 games each.

It looks difficult for Dallas. But in reality, it’s…worse, as the Mavs lag behind the teams above them in almost every tiebreak. Specifically, Dallas has:
2-2 wins over Pelicans (falling behind because New Orleans has better offense)
3-1 win over the Lakers
1-2 wins against Wolves
1-2 wins against the Thunder
3:1 wins against the Jazz

In a few words: With the exception of the Lakers, the Mavericks don’t want to be tied with any team other than the current ranks 7-10. Special:

  • In order for the Mavericks to overtake the Thunder – who are their direct competitor – they need to win two more in the four remaining games until the end of the regular season. For example, that’s 3 wins and Oklahoma City one win, or 4/4 and The Thunder up to two wins.
  • To get past the Wolves, they need to win three times more than Minnesota (3 wins against none of the Wolves or 4 wins for a Wolves win).
  • To get past the pelicans they have to go 4/4 and the pelicans 0/4
  • To get past the Lakers, all they have to do is tie.

The schedule is dangerous, but the Thunder are in…worse

With the Mavericks losing 5 of their last 6 games, including two straight losses to the Hornets, it’s clear Dallas can… lose to anyone. But even leaving their image out of the equation, a look at their schedule shows that things aren’t easy as 3 of their 4 remaining games are high stakes.

Specifically, the Mavericks will face off in their last 4 games in order:

  • Away from the Atlanta Hawks (38-39) by Trae Young and Dejude Marie who are fighting for a good position in the eastern play-in.
  • Home of the Sacramento Kings (47-30) who secured 3rd place in the west but are still chasing 2nd place from the Grizzlies.
  • Home of the Chicago Bulls (37-40) fighting for No. 10 in the West.
  • At home with the Spurs (19-58) going through the “YOLO” stage in pursuit of Victor Webanyama and maybe even giving Gregg Popovich or the guy who works the floor in the team canteen some playing time to make sure that they do get beaten.

As becomes clear, the Mavs, despite 3/4 home games – with the exception of the Spurs – meet teams hungry for victory. You can hope that Sacramento might show up without their appetizers, but as it turns out, even that might not be enough.

On a positive note for the Mavericks, their direct rival (The Thunder) has an even tougher schedule as they face the Suns (home), Warriors (away), Jazz (away), and Grizzlies (home) in HQ order. In general, making it to a win is indeed an open-ended scenario for Oklahoma City, giving the Mavericks a breather. But Dallas can’t count on the Thunder’s results, they need to win first.

Either way, it’s clear the Mavericks are in a tough spot. Right now, they certainly don’t look like the title contenders they expected when they took over Irving. Instead they look like – and are – a mediocre team with no chemistry and a Swiss cheese defense.

Will the Texans flip the switch in the last 4 games? If they don’t, the year will prove to be a fiasco, especially considering they made it to the West Finals last year. However, the worst thing is that even if they get enough wins, it may not be enough. And there’s nothing worse than not defining your NBA destiny.

Source: sport 24

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The NBA East and West rankings after the Pelicans win and the Mavericks lose




Here’s how both the Eastern and Western conferences of the NBA have evolved according to the latest results. The Pelicans edged out the Clippers in the west to 6th place, with the Mavericks remaining in 10th place.

The Heat defeated the unlikely Luka Doncic’s Mavericks to stay in 7th place in the East, while Dallas stayed in 11th place in the West and were eliminated from the play-in.

In the other game of the night, the Pelicans defeated the Clippers and edged them out in the West to 6th place, moving themselves up to 7th place and openly threatening the LA team for a playoff spot.


1. Milwaukee Bucks 55-22*
2. Boston Celtics 54-24*
3. Philly 76ers 51-26*
4th Cleveland Cavaliers 48-30*
5.New York Knicks 45-33
6. Brooklyn Networks 42-35
7.Miami Heat 41-37
8.Atlanta Hawks 38-39
9.Toronto Raptors 38-39
10.Chicago Bulls 37-40
11. Washington Wizards 34-43
12. Indiana Pacers 34-44
13. Orlando Magic 33-44
14. Charlotte Hornets 26-52
15. Detroit Pistons 16-61


1. Denver Nuggets 51-26*
2. Memphis Grizzlies 49-28*
3. Kings of Sacramento 47-30*
4. Phoenix Suns 42-35
5. Warriors of the Golden State 41-37
6.LA Clippers 41-38
7. New Orleans Pelicans 40-38
8. LA Lakers 39-38
9.Minnesota Timberwolves 39-39
10. Oklahoma City Thunder 38-40
11 Dallas Mavericks 37-41
12. Utah Jazz 36-41
13. Portland Trail Blazers 32-45
14. San Antonio Spurs 19-58
15 Houston Rockets 19-59
* You have qualified for the playoffs
** The top six teams in each region advance directly to the playoffs.
** *Teams ranked 7th-10th in each region will enter the play-in tournament and claim the last two spots in East and West respectively.

Source: sport 24

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Ingram executed the Clippers, wrecking west for playoffs and play-ins




The Pelicans were excellent, relying on the star of Brandon Ingram (36 points) and taking the Clippers 122-114, dropping them to 6th in the West and causing… destruction in play-ins and playoffs .

The pelicans are still here. Confirming their uptrend, New Orleans beat the Clippers 122-114, dropping them to 6th place in the West and closing in on LA by half a game to ignite a spot in the West’s playoffs and play-in.

Brandon Ingram led with 36 points, with Jonas Valanciunas adding 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Trey Murphy and CJ McCollum each adding 19 points.

With the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard had 40 points, Russell Westbrook had 24 points and Ivica Zubac had 15 points.

THE DODECALPTA: 21-31, 55-56, 91-90, 122-114

pelicans: Ingram 36 (8 assists), Jones 12 (1), Valanciunas 23 (1 3-pointers, 12 rebounds), McCollum 19 (1/5 3-pointers), Murphy 19 (2), Nance 2 (1/6 shots). ). , 6 rebounds), Marshall 3, Richardson 3 (1), Daniels 5 (1)

clippers: Batum 2, Leonard 40 (4/8 threes, 8 rebounds), Zubac 15 (6 rebounds), Westbrook 24 (3 threes), Powell 12 (5 rebounds), Covington (4 (1), Plumlee 6 (5 rebounds) , Highland 5 (2/7 shoot, 1 three-pointer), man 6 (2)

Source: sport 24

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