After last nights victory over the disappointing Chicago Bulls, the Sixers who sit at 27-45 with ten game left in the regular season seem to be gripping the reigns of respectability. They defeated the Bulls by a final score of 117-107 thanks to career nights by rookie Dario Saric who finished with a career high 32 points and former D-Leaguer Shawn Long who 18 points and seven rebounds.
Saric has been an impressive run since Sixers big man Joel Embiid went down to a sudden knee injury that forced him to miss the entire second half of the season. Saric, who should get major consideration for NBA Rookie of the Year, has a double digit points streak that has reached 22 games. A team who was once the laughing stock of the national media and NBA could possibly win 30 games or more this season. For a team that won ten games last year, that is a major stepping stone.
Some may feel the team took a step back at the trade deadline when they traded Nerlens Noel away to Dallas in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a top 18 protected first round pick in 2018 that has a strong chance to convey into two second round picks. Quite the contrary though, Anderson has shown glimpses of being a solid three and D guy. His most notable game in a Sixers uniform came against the New York Knicks in which his defensive antics guarding Carmelo Anthony almost caused a mini shoving match. Anderson would then drain back to back stand still jumpers from beyond the arch. He would finish with 19 points and much approval from the Sixers fan base.
The Sixers have enjoyed much more consistent success without Embiid who only appeared in 31 matchups this season but did average 20.0 points per game and number one overall pick Ben Simmons who will debut next year. Furthermore, the fact that they own the right to swap the better of the two picks between them and Sacramento, while still owning the rights to their own first round pick in a very deep draft class, Philadelphia could be down right scary.