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Who's that there atop John Hollinger's power rankings?
Why it's the Philadelphia 76ers. Surprised?
Off to their best start since the Allen Iverson era, the 7-3 Sixers have a buzz going in the Atlantic Division. With Boston fading and the New York Knicks still searching for their best self, Philadelphia has a legitimate shot at the division title and the conference's third seed.
All of this comes with a few caveats.
Will Spencer Hawes remain among the top five NBA centers in PER? No.
Can a Sixers defense that was decent but not great last year stay atop the league in defensive efficiency? No.
Do they stand a chance of maintaining the league's largest margin of victory all season long? Again, no.
But there are signs that the Sixers are legit and could challenge the Heat.
Their youth and depth help them in a condensed season, they're athletic enough to run up and down the court with Miami and they have a premier wing defender (Andre Iguodala) capable of guarding either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.
It's also worth noting that when the Heat and Sixers met in last year's playoffs, only one of the five games was decided by 10 points or more.
Good things are brewing in Philadelphia—more than enough to earn them a spot on this list.