With all the talk about the end of the Eagles season, and the Flyers battling for 1st place, we are missing out on the Sixers quietly playing some very good basketball lately. The Sixers beat the Rockets last night to even their record at 22-22 on the season, and they are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
You would think the Sixers would benefit from the return of Elton Brand from his shoulder injury after being out a month. But questions are out there as to whether Elton Brand fits the mold of this running team, and Brand is even being mentioned in trade rumors for the upcoming trade deadline. I think the Sixers can definitely be successful with Brand in the lineup, they just need to find a way for him to fit in. This Sixers team is still a very poor half court team, and it seems like every time they come down court in a half court situation, they find Brand on the blocks, and the double team comes immediately on Brand. Brand is then forced to give it up, and the Sixers will then miss an outside shot.
Under Tony DiLeo, interim coach, the Sixers are playing better, and DiLeo seems to be getting more out of his players than Cheeks was. DiLeo has also found a way to get Lou Williams, and Marreese Speights more playing time. We definitely want to see more of those guys, while seeing less of Sammy D. and Willie Green. Dalembert is a clown on the court, and a joke that he still doesn’t even really know how to play basketball, he is just a freak 7’0" athlete who pulls down rebounds that are near him. Willie Green is the epitome of the phrase "dime a dozen."
Anyways, as of today, the Sixers sit in the #7 playoff spot. The Eastern Conference features a "Big 3" teams at the top, in Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando, all three of these teams already sit at at least 20 games over .500. If the Sixers can get into the 5 spot, they would have a chance at winning a first round series, and with the way they are playing, they can definitely achieve that. Come playoff time, the Sixers will definitely need a veteran like Brand in the lineup playing at his best.
If the Sixers can find a way for Brand to fit in, and get the most out of him, while still maintaining their running, high-tempo style, this Sixers team could be a team that no one wants to play come playoff time.