Ain't this what y'all been waiting for? You ready? I used to pray for times like this, with my homie Richaun like this. So I had to grind through MCW to shine like Simmons. In the matter of time I spent on some Trust the Process shit, in the top of NBA Lottery, eyes locked on picks. See Embiid's dreams unfold, opponents nightmares come true. When people ask if I like Covington, I say "Yeah, I do." We knew Dario was coming, we could see it with a clear-eyed view. Got a trade, Boston gave us Fultz and we said "Thank you." I'd like some shooters please, Ersan and Marco let them triggers squeeze. JJ getting cream, never even thought about another team. Look what they started, the results of the lion-hearted. If you loved them when they sucked, you'll remember the day when Hinkie departed. Sixers gone win it regardless, 2018 NBA Finals Champs is what you gone call them.
If you didn't understand that first paragraph reference, it was my impression of the newest winner of social injustice Meek Mill. The man from Philly was courtside the night the Philadelphia 76ers won their first playoff series since 2012. His story of overcoming adversity and coming out on top after being down for so long is a metaphor of the Sixers last five seasons. They're not supposed to be here. They're not supposed to be in the playoffs. They're not supposed to be this good yet. But they are, and Sixers fans love to say we told you so... We told you so.
The Sixers over/under expected wins for the 2017 season was 40.5 and were supposed to be a 7th to 8th seed at best. They finished with 52 wins and claimed the 3 seed in the East after missing the playoffs for five straight seasons. They have won a total of 56 games this year including the postseason, a total they had over the past three seasons combined. So, YES, The Process worked.
The Sixers won their first series against the Miami Heat in 5 games, with their only loss coming on the back of top 3 all-time shooting guard Dwyane Wade. They went undefeated with Joel Embiid in the lineup. Ben Simmons became the third rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double in a playoff game, and his clutch performances in the series allowed his team to make quick work of the Heat. They outscored the Heat by 54 points over the course of the series, and scored 100+ points in every game. Brett Brown won his first playoff series as a head coach, and their fast series gave them a chance to rest up for the second round.
The Boston Celtics didn't win a road game in the first round, but still won the series in 7 games thanks to their homecourt advantage. As the 2 seed, they will continue to have homecourt advantage, but this time it won't matter. The Sixers were better than the Celtics in points, rebounds, and assists per game as a team. The Celtics will not face a tougher offense, as the Sixers are averaging 114.2 points per game in the playoffs while the Celtics are at 102.4. The grit from TJ McConnell off the bench will set the tone for the bench all series. The last time these two teams met was the only game when these two teams played without Kyrie Irving on the floor, and the Sixers defense allowed just 80 points. The Sixers defense was 4th in the NBA in defensive rating, and the depleted roster of the Celtics will only make it that much easier. The Sixers won't allow the Celtics to win a game, and the brooms will be brought out for the city of Boston.
It couldn't be any other way, the Sixers will have to go through Lebron to reach their incredibly high goals. The Sixers are built to take down the beast that is Lebron James and his unreliable squad in the Cleveland Cavaliers. The depth of the Sixers is what will tell the story of this series. In the best game of the season that featured a triple-double from both Lebron and Ben Simmons, the Sixers were without Embiid and didn't have a post presence to keep Lebron out of the paint, and they still won. With Embiid healthy, the Sixers will force the Cavaliers seasoned roster to take and make a lot of jump shots. The healthy mix of bigs in the paint such as Richaun Holmes, Ersan Ilyasova and Amir Johnson will help the Sixers dominate the boards as they did all season where they were 1st in the NBA in rebounds per game. Lebron will get his of course, but it won't be enough. The Sixers will win the series in 7 games, and will force Lebron to leave Cleveland yet again in the offseason.
After getting over the Lebron-hump, the Sixers will be heading into the Finals with a world of confidence. I used to tell my friends that are Golden State Warriors fans that the Sixers would meet them in the 2019 NBA Finals, but I was dead wrong. I was late to the game, the Sixers will meet them this season for the chance to take down the best franchise in basketball for the past five years. Just for the record, every year I go into the season saying the Sixers are going to be good, and most of my life they have disappointed me. But this season, even with my high expectations, my uncle predicted everything the Sixers would do so far. Rookie of the Year, 3 seed, and a series victory over the Heat in 5 games, so shoutout to my uncle for putting those positive vibes in the air. Please keep believing in us.
The Sixers led the NBA in two-point field goal percentage allowed, thanks to the great play of their interior defense. And although the Warriors shot the highest field goal percentage from two-point range, the length of the Sixers will keep the Warriors out of the paint. When we talk about sharing the basketball, these two teams were the top two in assists per game. This will be one of the most visually pleasing series in recent memory as both teams bring top tier play to the table. But this series will be about youth. The Sixers will simply have too much gas in the tank late in every game. The fact that the Warriors have essentially had to play an entire extra season over the last four years will finally catch up to them against a team who likes to run up and down the court for 48 minutes.
The shooters in JJ Redick, Marco Belinelli, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric will have a three ball answer for everything the Warriors throw at them. The only player who will be able to slow down Ben Simmons will be Draymond Green, which will open up the floor for Joel Embiid against guys like JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia. Ben Simmons will be the first rookie ever to average a triple-double in the NBA Finals on his way to earning NBA Finals MVP. The Sixers will take down the Warriors in 7 games and become the new most hated team in the NBA. Philly did it without an album.
I Trusted The Process, so I'm here for the results...
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.