The phrase, the more things change, the more it stays the same for the upcoming season. The Sixers They kept retooling their roster year after year, trying to win the title for the first time in 40 years.
Newcomers PJ Tucker, De’Anthony Melton, Danuel House and Trevelin Queen were welcomed with open arms, their presence on the team adding solidity and depth to the wing and front yard. However, Philadelphia loyalists have walked a similar path in recent past seasons, as well as with the team that lost in The NBA Finals More than 40 years ago. The Sixers were good enough to represent the Eastern Conference, however, they couldn’t get over the hump. The phrase “We owe you one” was used in commercials to promote the team’s upcoming 1977-78 season, and was born out of a 4-2 loss to Portland in the 1977 NBA Finals. Philadelphia benefited from its takeover of Julius Irving early in the season, with a lead of 2 -0, the series headed to the Pacific Northwest and they would lose the next four games.
Moses Malone was the missing piece to the puzzle. He was shipped to Brotherly Love City in signature and traded with Houston after winning the league’s MVP title in the previous campaign. The team pressed immediately from the start, reaching a record of 65-17 after 82 matches. overrun New York Knicks In the semifinals, he ousted Milwaukee in five. They grabbed the final prize after beating the drained breaks Lakers Lineup in four matches. Mallon was again the league’s best player and after performing 25.8 points per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field, along with 18.0 rebounds, he was named Finals Player of the Year.
Los Angeles and Boston dominated the league in the 1980s, but Philadelphia was always in the conversation, having gone to back-to-back Conference Finals in 1980, 81 and 82, and then again in 1985. The Lakers and Celtics He won all but two titles in that decade with the Sixers and Pistons crashing the party in ’83 and ’89, respectively.
The 1982-83 season was full of talent at the All-Star level from the start of the five, the main reserves on the bench. Everything prior to the playoffs that year was a formality, as the franchise was destined to win it all, or fail. The biggest difference now and then is that the team in its current form has yet to move to the second round, while their predecessor made frequent trips to the championship role and eventually managed to win one.
Moses Malone made the most of his first season in Philadelphia by dominating the boards. He pulled 5.7 on the offensive glass and 9.6 on the defensive end. Dr. J has the second highest total rebound with 6.8 per game. This kind of commitment by the game’s stars and the competition against it is hard to defend.
There are some glaring similarities between the championship team and the roster as it stands now. For starters, both Billy Cunningham and Doc Rivers were former players, turned head coaches. We also have to address the presence of former Rockets employees Daryl Morey, James Harden, and Tucker, and set the tone for history to repeat itself. The next order of business is for Joel Embiid to match his full potential and become a basketball bounce force. He played in 68 games last season and led the team with a total of 796 boards, averaging 11.7 per competition. He also scored 30.6 points, blocked 1.5 shots, and had the third most assists with 4.2 in a match.
It goes without saying that what Embiid brings to the table – he can do anything and everything. Meanwhile, with Tyrese Maxey emerging as a rookie and an All-Star starter, not to mention Harden looking to enter boot camp in pinnacle form, you must temper the need for Embiid to do it all. This may allow the bulky guy to focus more on rebounding and less turnover. In essence, he will have to trust the process to allow for consistency and to allow his teammates to make more contributions to the bottom line. The Sixers should look at a multi-level attack on both ends of the Earth. The biggest void the team must fill is the absence of Seth Curry and his specialization in dropping both open and contested shots. Philadelphia needs to be a team with good perimeter and midrange shooters. Harden and Embiid will cause matchmaking problems and it will be up to Maxey, Harris, Tucker and others to make the opponent pay the price for closing and sending players to a double team.
The Sixers can take some lessons from the great teams of the past to understand what it means in a winner-takes-all scenario, to bring the elusive Larry O’Brien Cup back to Philadelphia. Wilt Chamberlain was the 8th Wonder of the World, and in the 1966-1967 race he was the anchor with 24.1 points, 24.2 rebounds and a team leading 7.8 assists on a consistent basis. Six people averaged double figures per game, with Chamberlain facing the challenge of distributing the ball and reducing his scoring abilities. The following year, he averaged 8.6 assists, becoming the only player in NBA history to lead the league for an entire season with points, rebounds, and assists.
Julius Irving was the league’s MVP in 1981, and Moses Malone maintained that distinction for the next two seasons. Both players were creative in their own right and were superstars who put their ego aside to focus solely on winning. Harden won the award in 2018, and Embiid continues to play at the MVP level. Harden provided 10.5 assists, drew 7.1 rebounds, and scored 21.0 points in 21 games for Philadelphia. He will benefit from a full year with the Sixers and his mentorship towards Maxey will continue to pay dividends as the team continues throughout the season.
There is one goal in regards to the Sixers, the front office, and the fans. The team is a few weeks away from training camp, and they are in a unique position to change some narratives. Simply put, their achievement has been poor, and the 2022-23 season will be another opportunity to make things right.