NBA Playoffs 2012: Why the Philadelphia 76ers Will Go Deep

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01: Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers yells encouragement to temmates during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 1, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The 76ers defeated the Bulls 109-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the 2012 NBA playoffs in full swing, there are several contenders that have fallen already in the first round.

That may have been enough to help clear the Philadelphia 76ers a path to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Once the Sixers knockoff the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls—whom they lead 3-1 in their first-round series—it will be time to turn their attention to the winner of the Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics series.

This is what makes them so good.

 

The Talent

With veteran stars like Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand giving big minutes through the heart of the game, the Sixers have mixed their veteran players in well with their young stars.

While Brand hasn’t played as great as he can, Iguodala has been the stat stuffer that the team has come to depend on. Add in the stellar play of youngster Evan Turner and the starting lineup is as dangerous as they come.

If Philadelphia can get this trio going offensively, there is no stopping the Sixers.

 

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01:  Louis Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers smiles near the end of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 1, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Th
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Bench Depth

The reason the 76ers even made it to the postseason in the first place was because of the sheer depth and stellar play of their bench.

Every spot on the floor has three guys that could step in and play, but it’s the play of Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams that will make or break Philadelphia.

Williams and Young have to find their rhythm offensively for the team to pull off the upset in the second round. The eighth-seeded Sixers have nothing to lose and enough depth to make life hard for whomever they play.

 

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls lays on the floor aftrer suffering an injury against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 28, 20
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Players Roles are Defined

With the injury to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the Bulls have regressed into a team that doesn’t have clearly defined roles. Philadelphia’s roles are very much defined and they will succeed because of this.

The scorers know who will be shooting and when while others focus on clamping down at the defensive end.

With everyone sticking to plan and doing a certain job, the Sixers could beat Boston.

 

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01:  Head coach Doug Collins of the Philadelphia 76ers gives instructions to his team against the Chicago Bulls in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 1, 2012 in Chica
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Doug Collins

Sixers head coach Doug Collins is an old-school basketball mind, and he believes first and foremost in playing smart team defense.

From that defense will come the team’s offense.

When it comes to playing teams like Boston and Miami in the playoffs, a pressuring defense that leads to easy baskets is the style needed to achieve greatness.

While there is no doubt the Sixers can sustain the defensive pressure against the older Celtics, their ability to beat a team like the Heat in a seven-game series is being questioned by many.

 

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