Philadelphia 76ers 2017-18 Season Preview

The FEDS (Fultz, Embiid, Dario, Simmons) are in town!

After years of “Trusting the Process” and enduring numerous losing seasons in a row, things have finally turned around for the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite an injury-plagued 2016-17 campaign, the Sixers turned in their best season since 2013, finishing with 28 wins and providing hope for future success.

The 2016-17 season saw the emergence of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington as legitimate NBA starters, turned some previous afterthoughts (T.J. McConnnell, Nik Stauskas, Richaun Holmes) into quality bench players, and culminated in a trade that saw the Sixers acquire the 1st overall draft pick, which they then used to select flashy point guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington.

The Sixers have publicly declared “The Process” to be over, instead referring to this coming season as “The Moment”. It has been a long road, but the 2017-18 76ers season has the potential to result in the club’s first playoff appearance in years.

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Welcome To The Moment: Fultz to Philly Marks Culmination of The Process

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Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz will make up the new core for the Sixers going forward.
The last 5 years have not been too kind to Philadelphia 76ers fans. As the team lost pieces of its core left and right and suffered one agonizing loss after the next, team ownership tried to tell diehard fans that this losing all had a greater purpose, nicknamed “The Process” by ex-General Manager Sam Hinkie.

“The Process” was simple in practice: by tanking for many years and trading any pieces of value the Sixers had, Philadelphia would acquire copious amounts of high draft picks that would be both used on top prospects or eventually traded in an effort to get a big star and end “The Process”.

And over the past 3 years or so, the first part of this logic shined, as the Sixers got high draft pick after high draft pick. But the final part of Hinkie’s Process remained unfulfilled until last week, when the Sixers made a deal with the Boston Celtics for the first overall draft pick. With the ability to choose any player they wanted, the Sixers chose to select Markelle Fultz, a freshman point guard out of Washington.

Sixers fans, “The Process” is finally over. Welcome to the Moment.

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Which Sport Has the Best Playoffs?

The hallmark of all four major sports is their respective postseasons.
There really is no time like the postseason in sports. It is the time when the best of the best assert themselves, and the pretenders go home. Every sport’s postseason features its best competition and the most intense games. However, which sport has the very best postseason?

This is very difficult debate, as even the “worst” playoff sports have set the stage for some of the finest moments in all of sports. But without further ado, here’s Overtime’s take on which sport’s playoffs truly are the best.

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Re-Examining the Nerlens Noel Trade

Nerlens Noel and Justin Anderson faced off for the first time since being traded for each other last week.
The NBA Trade Deadline was just days away, and the Philadelphia 76ers wanted to trade a center. With Joel Embiid the center of the future and Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Richaun Holmes also on the roster, it made sense for the Sixers to trade at least one of their big men.

As we touched on back at deadline day, it seemed to make the most sense for the Sixers to either stand pat or cut their losses and trade Okafor, while re-signing Noel and letting Holmes grow as a center/power forward swingman. Of course, the Sixers did neither, dealing fan favorite Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for little-known forward Justin Anderson and a conditional draft pick, which would either become a single first rounder or two second rounders.

The trade was panned by critics all over social media before even giving the Sixers a chance to show their thought process. And as time has passed, it has become clear that even if what the Sixers did wasn’t the ideal move to make, it may turn out better than some people thought.

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Solving the Sixers’ Big Man Problem

The future of the 76ers depends heavily on how they decide to solve their big man logjam.

It is often said that you can never have too much of a good thing. In practice though, even an excess of a perceived strength can ultimately lead to weakness. This philosophy seems to be occurring for the Philadelphia 76ers. While the Sixers feature three stellar centers, plus rising Richaun Holmes as a fourth option, many pundits are seemingly eager for the Sixers to give up at least one of their players in a trade.

But is trading away a fine young player the best for the Sixers’ future? It may in end up being best for the Sixers to hold on to their bigs as a sort of insurance policy for the time being, and then making a move when the time is right.

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Confessions of an On-Again, Off-Again Sixers Fan: How the Sixers Made Basketball Fun Again

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Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric have made basketball fun again for not just hardcore Sixers fans, but even those who casually follow the team.

First, a confession.

I was never a big fan of basketball early on in my life, and who could blame me? Growing up in the mid 2000s, my local teams were the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, or New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, hardly teams thought of as Eastern Conference powerhouses.

Nevertheless, I chose to follow the Sixers as a casual fan, mainly because they played in the same building as my beloved Philadelphia Flyers, and because they were a team rich in history that looked poised for an NBA comeback in the near future. However, this was about 2008, right around the time when the Sixers’ dramatic fall from grace ensued. They swapped coaches left and right, losing just about every key player they had in the process, and consistently made poor draft day and developmental decisions.

But times are different in South Philadelphia now. Those same Sixers, the lovable losers and perennial laughingstocks of the NBA for the last 10 years, are now the winners, the toast of the town. Attendance at the (Wells Fargo) Center has skyrocketed, and Philly fans have something to smile about on the hardwood.

Why? Because the Sixers have made watching basketball fun again. Continue reading