- 5. Philadelphia 76ers
One play and one shot changed the fortunes of a team that had enough talent to win the NBA Championship last season. If Kawhi Leonard’s shot never would have went in, the Philadelphia 76ers had a team that could have defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. That team had Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J Redick leading the “Processed Finished Group”.
Now 3 months later Butler and Redick are in new places and a new All-Star big man is coming into “The City of Brotherly Love”. The addition of former Celtic all-star Al Horford and the trade for Josh Richardson, gives the Sixers a brand new starting lineup. The difference is that this new group might be the biggest and strongest starting unit in the entire league.
Richardson takes over for Butler as the teams’ defensive wizard and Horford will add another big man that will take pressure off Embiid defensively and can be an anchor to all Joel to run around on weak-side defense and block shots.
But what is keeping the Sixers away from the top spot is outside shooting and bench depth. Right now, they have neither. Harris is the only consistent shooter from deep on the roster now and bench is full of players that don’t strike fear in other teams. So until they add an impact bench player or two, they are right behind the next team on this list.