The Los Angeles Lakers finished as the number one seed last season. LeBron James finished second in the MVP Voting and Anthony Davis finished second in the DPOY Voting. However, those snubbed awards didn’t matter, as they went on to win the championship. And now a year later, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a very similar situation.
Similar to the Lakers, they finished as the first seed. Just as LeBron finished second for MVP, Joel Embiid also finished runner-up to MVP Nikola Jokic. Finally, 76ers’ Ben Simmons finished second in DPOY voting, just like AD last year. So does this also mean that the 76ers are going to win the title like the Lakers?
76ers fans would like to believe that this is more than just coincidence. They haven’t won a title since 1983 when they beat none other than the Lakers. And the last time they were in the NBA Finals, back in 2001, they lost to once again, the Lakers. This prolonged absence from the NBA Finals has been harsh for 76ers fans who will be praying for a similar campaign result like the 2019-20 Lakers.
With their fortunes intertwined so closely, can Philadelphia 76ers actually win the title like the Lakers did last year?
The 76ers entered the 2021 NBA playoffs as one of the favorites to win it all. While all #1 seeds are favorites usually, many have predicted the 76ers to actually finish ahead of the Nets super team, the other favorite. The 76ers beat them twice in regular season, but only one of their Big 3 players were playing in both games. So that is not a fair assessment of how the 76ers match up with the Nets.
In Embiid, the 76ers have a player who can be unstoppable. Few players can match up with him physically and he can beat such players with skill. To compliment him, they have Simmons, one of the best playmakers in the league. He has the ability to defend any player on the opposing team, and that is crucial for the 76ers.
Currently, the 76ers are tied 1-1 with the Hawks in the second round. They are favorites to win the series and face the winner of the Bucks vs Nets matchup in the Conference Finals. They have a capable team, and fans will be hoping they live to expectations in order to end their 38 year wait for a title.
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