Looking at the Sixers’ First Quarter of the Year
The Sixers are a little bit past the quarter mark on the season, a season where expectations were high for a team with title aspirations. The start of the year did not go how anyone expected. Many expected the Sixers to experience some growing pains to start the year with a few new additions to the team during the offseason. Those growing pains would be worse than thought as they really struggle out of the gate.
They would start the season 4-6 through the first 10 games of the year, not ideal for a team looking to win the title. They would then start to suffer injuries to their star players starting with James Harden who would hurt his foot. This was very disappointing considering he looked back in shape and like his old self this year. Tyrese Maxey would be the next domino to fall as he would hurt his foot as well. The final domino to fall was Joel Embiid, who also hurt his foot. Anyone else sensing a pattern? Anyways, the team would lose their big 3 for a couple of games before their franchise center could return and hopefully keep the team afloat.
Despite missing their big 3 the Sixers would start winning some games as bench players Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton would step up helping the Sixers win some games in Embiid’s absence. After his return, Embiid would have some monster performances which would include a 42-piece against the Hawks and a career-high 59 against the Jazz the next day, giving him 101 roughly within 24 hours. He most recently dropped 53 points against the Hornets to push the Sixers to 14-12.
With this momentum and James Harden returning to action, the Sixers look to build on this and start stacking wins. If the team can really hit a stride before Tyrese Maxey returns which is supposed to be within the next two weeks and at the latest Christmas. This team could be dangerous if James Harden returns to early season form and this team gets more time to play together. Hopefully, PJ Tucker can settle in as he is struggling to score the ball after the Sixers paid him handsomely this offseason to be a difference-maker and someone who could push them over the hump. If these few things can fall in line the Sixers could look to build past the rough start and rise to the top of the Eastern Conference just like we hoped they would.