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Your case for and in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers going all the way in which to the NBA Finals?
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Steve Aschburner: OK, for the Sixers in The Finals: They’ve a killer beginning lineup, with a lot offensive weaponry, that defenses are detest to double anyone — which solely makes every extra harmful. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons particularly are matchup nightmares, a greater tandem than any Philadelphia will face within the East bracket. And not one of the different convention contenders is with out flaws. Now my case in opposition to the Sixers: They’re reckless with the ball (15.Three turnovers per recreation). They ship opponents to the foul line rather a lot. Philadelphia runs “scorching” in video games, too, with robust, yakkety-yak personalities that may flare up in unproductive methods. And I’m not offered on the bond between the gamers and the teaching workers, regardless of Brett Brown’s comforting bedside method. Any disconnect may present itself because the stakes and stress get dialed up.
Did the Magic present groups with a blueprint for beating the Sixers?
Shaun Powell: This is the “for” argument: They’ve the most effective beginning 5 within the East and there is not a weak spot at any of these beginning positions. Additionally, they personal a pair of defensive aces in Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler and stable Three-point taking pictures with JJ Redick and Tobias Harris. This is the “in opposition to” argument: None of their foremost items (Embiid, Butler, Harris, Ben Simmons) have gone anyplace within the postseason, you marvel how efficient Simmons will be within the last moments of a decent recreation due to an lack of ability to shoot from deep, and their bench is susceptible if any starter will get injured or into foul hassle.
John Schuhmann: The case for is fairly easy. The Sixers have a terrific beginning lineup and so they have not less than two of these starters on the ground always. And it is not simply 5 good gamers, as a result of Joel Embiid is among the league’s most dominant, two-way forces and a matchup downside for any opponent (even Al Horford, as we noticed final week). The case in opposition to begins with the truth that, with two weeks left within the season, the beginning lineup has performed simply 9 video games collectively. They may go into the playoffs with out the identical familiarity that the East’s different contenders have. Embiid rolling to the basket with Ben Simmons already occupying area on the baseline stays an ungainly scenario. Additionally, the Sixers’ depth — each normally and in regard to taking pictures — is a serious subject. So after they do have fewer than 5 starters on the ground (for about 30 minutes per recreation), the opponent can take benefit.
Sekou Smith: Star energy is my case for the Philadelphia 76ers grinding their technique to The Finals. If it have been to occur, and I am nonetheless on the fence in regards to the Sixers’ possibilities with that, it must come on the shoulders of the NBA’s most top-heavy beginning 5 exterior of Oakland. The appropriate matchups within the postseason are vital — as they often are for any staff making an attempt to succeed in The Finals. Joel Embiid’s availability, particularly, turns into the make-or-break issue for this staff. However that is additionally the place the case in opposition to the Sixers making all of it the way in which there shines a highlight on Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Their chemistry as a bunch must be sound. Coach Brett Brown should ensure his guys are locked into their roles in each recreation of each sequence. If not, they’re simply as prone to be upset within the playoffs as they’re to succeed in The Finals. If there’s a disconnect, it could possibly be deadly.