5 Signs the Philadelphia 76ers Can Keep Winning
The Philadelphia 76ers, despite not having one major star, will be a contender for the Eastern Conference Championship.
These are five reasons as to why they will be in the thick of things come playoff time.
Before the season, however, no one thought this would be the case.
But now it is a reality.
People have doubted the Sixers all season because they don't have a big-name star that could put the team on his back.
But the Sixers, coached by Doug Collins, play as the most complete team in the NBA.
They Won Games Withough Spencer Hawes
When healthy, Spencer Hawes isn't the best player in the league, but is an integral piece that helps the 76ers win. Unfortunately for Hawes, he has not been healthy this season.
When he does play, he averages almost a double-double. He's scrappy, hustles and defends pretty well.
He's exactly what the Sixers as a whole represent: not the most talented or the most skilled, but will give maximum effort and do what's necessary to help the team win.
Since Hawes has been sidelined though, the Sixers have proved to be a complete team as they have kept winning.
With Hawes back in the lineup, the Sixers have instantly become a better team. Hawes probably isn't 100 percent at this point, however, and is doubtful for tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Whether he can play or not, the Sixers have proven that they don't miss a beat without him.
Good Defensive Team
Head coach Doug Collins has instilled a lot of things into the 76ers, but the biggest was making his team play tough defense.
The Sixers give up an average of 86.6 points per game, good enough for second in the NBA.
A good defensive basketball team means that even if you have an off shooting night, which happens to even the most talented of teams, you'll still be in most games because you don't let the opponent get too far away from you.
The Sixers are also fifth in the NBA in field-goal percentage allowed.
The Sixers have not looked too good against high-scoring teams like the Miami Heat so far this season, but in a seven-game playoff series, things are going to get a lot tighter—especially during the later rounds—and a good defense is what can help teams make a deep run in playoffs.
The 76ers are the polar opposite of what the NBA has become.
The NBA has become an individual star-driven game where the good teams have one guy they can turn to when it comes to the clutch moments. That can be gift as much as a curse as you may have a dynamic scorer to take over the game, but if he is having a bad night, there's no one else to pick up the slack.
The Sixers do not have to worry about this.
They have six players who average double figures in scoring. The team's leading scorer, Lou Williams, comes off the bench and has not made a single start this season.
If the Sixers need a bucket in a pressure moment in a big game, they usually turn to Williams. But if he is having an off night, the team could turn to Jrue Holiday and possibly even Andre Iguodala as well.
The common conception that only stars win NBA titles is a bit of misnomer.
Every team that has won the championship recently has been a deep team that had multiple scoring options.
More than one person is needed to step up in order to win the NBA Championship and that is a problem the Sixers do not have to worry about.
The Eastern Conference
Outside of the Miami Heat, the Eastern Conference is not all that great.
While there some good teams in the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers and even the Boston Celtics, in a seven-game series, I believe the 76ers could beat those teams mainly because of their depth.
Outside of the teams I just mentioned, the East is not good. The Sixers have not only beaten these bad teams, but have blown them out.
The biggest obstacle for the Sixers will be the Heat. Miami's a team that gives the Sixers the problems because they not only have talent, they have so much of it.
But as far as the Sixers sustaining their level of play in the East moving forward, they will definitely be there at the end.
As much as the players on the court have had something to do with the team's success, head coach Doug Collins has as much to with it as well.
Collins has instilled a team mentality and a toughness to the 76ers that endears the them to the city of Philadelphia.
He has the respect of a lot of players around the NBA and has the young players on the Sixers believing in what he is selling to them.
Collins will not let the team lose focus because of the early success. He will keep the team humble and focused on the ultimate goal.
Collins is the early favorite for Coach of the Year and it would be much deserved.