With a strong belief in themselves and lineup versatility, the Sixers are striking fear throughout the NBA.
Please believe it. The Sixers believe in themselves, and that confidence breeds fearlessness. A team without fear almost necessarily strikes fear in the opposition.
Skeptics who oppose my line of thinking could point out the fact that Philly has only beaten two teams with winning records this season. Whose fault it that? NBA schedule makers, maybe. But the 76ers are beating those losing teams by healthy margins.
The winning Heat caught the Sixers on a back-to-back night while Miami was well rested. They didn't have Dwyane Wade, but the 76ers didn't have Spencer Hawes, who is playing the best ball of his career.
Hawes' teammates share the ball and care less about who the leading scorer is on any given night. They have most of the pieces to make a deep run in the playoffs.
They haven't done that since the Allen Iverson days. Join me now to find out the answers to the question: Why does Lake believe other NBA teams should fear Philly?
Doug Collins has the option to go very big with rookie Nikola Vucevic at power forward and Spencer Hawes at center. Meanwhile, Evan Turner is a very capable point-forward who can fiercely rebound with the best power forwards.
Or Collins can go small with Elton Brand at center and four capable ball handlers in Iggy, Turner, Jrue Holiday and "Sweet Lou" Williams simultaneously on the floor. Not many teams' small lineup can match the skill and versatility of the Sixers'.
Each member on the Sixers' roster is hungry for more playoff games than the five they experienced last season. Their high rate of youth, and their veteran experience, virtually ensures the Sixers will keep healthy appetites.
The team that eats together defeats together. The Sixers break bread as one, share their meals, the ball and could care less about who the leading scorer is on any given night.
The NBA lockout was the primary cause of a shortened camp, preseason and compact schedules. Teams are also unable to practice as much. These are all hindrances to teams experiencing a lot of turnover on their rosters and coaching staffs.
With virtually the same rotation in place from last season, the Sixers have an advantage over most NBA teams this season. And they were one of the only teams to practice together during the lockout. That fact gives them the side dishes to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference playoffs this year.
The 76ers have the ingredients to lock teams down. This fact has been evident all season. Philadelphia has one of the top scoring defenses in the NBA, and it's not a fluke. And they get better as the game goes on. They'll continue to get better as the season wears on.
An example of the Sixers' growing strength is what they do in the third and fourth quarters of games. As one of the top second-half scoring teams, they have been waxing opposing squads after halftime.
This speaks to Doug Collins' solid adjustments while the game is being played. Collins has been working overtime to ensure his team improves.
Dubbed "The Night Shift" by their own originality in nicknaming, the 76ers' bench never takes a day or night off.
As the only reserve player leading his team in scoring, "Sweet Lou" often leaves sour tastes in defenders' and opposing coaches' mouths. Plus, his bench mates—Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Nikola Vucevic—have also been outstanding.
Philly, without question, has the most potent bench in the league. If that's not enough to strike respect and even fear in the enemy, then the enemy is foolish. Don't you be foolish and miss the next episode of my report: Lake's Fear of Philadelphia Files.