5 Reasons the Philadelphia 76ers Will Be a Top Seed in NBA's Eastern Conference

Eric JohnsonCorrespondent IIIAugust 27, 2012

5 Reasons the Philadelphia 76ers Will Be a Top Seed in NBA's Eastern Conference

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    The Philadelphia 76ers have been a busy team this offseason, but they have positioned themselves to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

    If things continue to fall the right way, we could see Philly making an impact deep within the playoffs.

    Picking up Andrew Bynum will prove to be a franchise-changing move for a team looking to better its playoff position. They also picked up Nick Young, Dorell Wright and Jason Richardson, moves which will give them much more depth in the backcourt.

    Losing pieces like Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams hurts, but getting in return one of the NBA's best centers and some solid role players will erase that worry immediately.

    Let's check out why the 76ers can be one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.

More Scoring Options

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    Philadelphia did lose some major players in Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams, but the important thing is they got deeper as a team.

    Adding some above-average offensive threats will help the team's lackluster scoring output of last season; it could mean the difference between just making the playoffs and advancing in the postseason.

    Jason Richardson and Dorell Wright are both guys who can spread the floor with their range. While the Sixers hit a solid 36 percent of their three-point shots last season, they were able to make only 5.3 of them per game. Look for Richardson and Wright to improve the team's ability to knock down the long ball.

    Another new addition that will boost the scoring attack is Nick Young. The 27-year-old has turned into a notable scorer who puts up points in bunches. He is a lengthy shooting guard who can score from a variety of ranges; he will be a huge factor off the bench.

    Bringing in players like these gives Philadelphia a lot of rotation options. With Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner already on the team, this will be a rather deep group which will show significant improvement on the scoring end.

Boston Celtics Will Not Play for Top Seed

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    The Boston Celtics will be extremely dangerous once they get to the playoffs, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them coast there.

    Because the Celtics have a history of winning postseason games on the road, they won't have the urgency during the regular season to play for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

    Boston will be focused on developing new talent and chemistry while keeping their veterans healthy. The Celtics still have most of their core pieces and added a few solid names to deepen their roster.

    That being said, Philly could easily step up and win the Atlantic Division.

    Even if the Celtics do take the division, the 76ers can still be a top-four seed by finishing second.

Jrue Holiday Will Have a Career Season

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    Lou Williams departure from Philly will likely open up a lot more opportunities for young Jrue Holiday. Holiday's got new targets to dish to and an expanded role as the team's point guard.

    I understand Williams was a big piece off the bench for the 76ers. He was a top-notch backup who could handle the ball when in the game. However, he also took away time from Holiday to develop as a point guard.

    Even though they both saw minutes together on the court, Holiday seemed to defer to Williams and take a more limited role as far as ball-handling and running the offense was concerned. Look for him to greatly improve his numbers but, most importantly, to emerge into a possible top-10 NBA point guard.

    Holiday has the talent, effort and potential to develop into a great player, but only time will tell just how good we will be. Based off the small sample we have witnessed, I would expect big things from the former UCLA Bruin.

Chicago Bulls...?

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    As long as former MVP Derrick Rose stays out, the Chicago Bulls are not title contenders.

    They can still sneak into the playoffs but will likely not make an impact unless they have their star point guard.

    This Chicago team will still be good enough that one shouldn't count them out completely, but the Bulls are still unlikely to notch a top-four seed in the East. If Rose comes back midseason, their fortunes could change, but they have no offensive explosiveness without him.

    If healthy, the Bulls would have been a gimme for a top seed, but Tom Thibodeau has a big project ahead of him just to make this team competitive. With no first option offensively, Chicago must rely on tough defense to even the odds.

    Expect a first-round exit without a healthy Rose.

Andrew Bynum

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    When healthy, Andrew Bynum is an elite NBA player. In fact, you could make an argument that he is the best big man in the league.

    Bynum managed to stay healthy last season and averaged career highs in points (18.7) and rebounds (11.8). Now that he is the man in Philly, look for him to improve on those stellar numbers. He will still dominate the offensive boards as he did with the Lakers, but with his new team, he will certainly get more touches in the post.

    Overall, Philadelphia acquiring Bynum was a major steal. If he can be convinced by Sixer management to stay in town rather than hit free agency next season, he will be a cornerstone for the team for years to come.

    As of now, he's still enough to help them earn a better playoff spot than last year.