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Philadelphia 76ers Betting Outlook
Eastern Conference Odds: +425
Preseason NBA Championship Odds: +1400
Philadelphia is hoping a return to health and a new head coach will help the team reach some of its lofty goals in 2020-21. Doc Rivers has taken over as head coach, and the team will be looking to its star players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, to lead the way. Tobias Harris is another scoring threat for the 76ers, who have a slightly different look due to a few moves but will still be driven by the three big-name players.
Still, there is a renewed energy in Philadelphia with the addition of the veteran coach Rivers, who has taken three different teams to the postseason in his career. Defense will be a focus, as will the continued development of Embiid and Simmons, who are still just 26 and 24, respectively.
76ers 2021 Predictions
Regular-Season Record: 48-24
Conference Standing: Fifth
Philadelphia 76ers Schedule
Philadelphia 76ers Standings
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Philadelphia 76ers Team Leaders
As with any good pivot, the 76ers revolve around Joel Embiid, the 7-foot center who is never afraid to speak his mind. Embiid is one of the best big men in the game on both ends of the floor, though he does tend to sometimes force shots, especially from the perimeter. Still, when he’s going, Embiid can be unstoppable, and he can disrupt any opponent’s offense with his presence in the paint.
The hope is that the arrival of Rivers will help Simmons continue to grow offensively. A fantastic passer, Simmons still struggles with his outside shot and aggressiveness with his own offense. Simmons, at 6-11, is a terror for any team to try to match up with, and his length helps on the defensive end as well. If Simmons is playing at his best, the 76ers will be in the mix for the Eastern Conference title.
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries
Philadelphia 76ers Team History
The Philadelphia 76ers’ franchise has been around since the 1940s when they started as the Syracuse Nationals in the National Basketball League for the 1946-47 season. The addition of Dolph Schayes in 1948 took the team to the playoffs, and they were one of seven NBL teams to help form the NBA in 1949.
Behind Schayes and player/coach Al Cervi, the Nationals made the NBA playoffs every year, winning the title in 1954-55 and going to the Finals in 1950 and 1954. In 1963, the team was moved to Philadelphia and renamed the 76ers, with Schayes becoming the team’s coach.
During the 1964-65 season, the team traded three players and money to the San Francisco Warriors for Wilt Chamberlain. Philadelphia was immediately a title contender with the high-scoring pivot man but had to deal with the Boston Celtics, losing to their rivals in the 1965 and 1966 playoffs.
But in 1966-67, Philadelphia got out to a 46-4 start and finished the regular season 68-13, setting an NBA record for wins. Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham and Chet Walker were the core of the team that knocked off the Celtics and ended their eight-year reign as NBA champions.
In the 1967 Finals, the 76ers took down the Warriors in six games for the NBA title. The following season, despite taking a 3-1 lead over Boston in the playoffs, Philadelphia fell to the Celtics, who went on to win another title.
With Chamberlain talking about maybe jumping to the American Basketball Association, the 76ers made sure not to let him get away for nothing, trading him to the Los Angeles Lakers for three players. Jack Ramsay was both coach and general manager of the team and couldn’t keep things afloat after the Chamberlain deal, with the team making the playoffs for the next three seasons before missing the postseason for the first time in franchise history in 1971-72.
The following season was worse, with Cunningham leaving for the ABA, and the team’s talent level as low as ever. Philadelphia finished with a 9-73 mark, the worst in league history.
Gene Shue took over as head coach the following season, and things started to turn around. Philadelphia acquired George McGinnis from the Indiana Pacers of the ABA and returned to the playoffs in 1976. When the ABA folded and four teams merged with the NBA, the New York Nets couldn’t afford to pay their star, Julius Erving, so they sold his contract to the 76ers.
The arrival of Erving pushed Philadelphia back into title contention, and the team advanced to the 1977 NBA Finals, where they faced the Portland Trail Blazers. The 76ers took a 2-0 series advantage, but Portland rallied for four straight wins to take the title.
Cunningham would take over as coach midway through the 1977-78 campaign, but the 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference finals to eventual champion Washington. The team did return to the NBA Finals in 1980, only to fall to the Los Angeles Lakers and rookie Earvin “Magic” Johnson in six games.
Two years later, the 76ers were back in the Finals, again against the Lakers, and lost again. In the 1982 offseason, Philadelphia traded for All-Star center Moses Malone, adding him to Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones to form one of the better teams in franchise history.
Philadelphia won 65 regular-season games, with Malone winning league MVP honors, then lost just one game on its way to the NBA title, sweeping the Lakers in the Finals. After an upset loss in 1983-84, the team drafted forward Charles Barkley and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in his rookie season, falling to the Celtics.
The 1986 offseason brought an end to the Malone era in Philadelphia, as he was traded to Washington and the No. 1 pick in the draft was dealt to Cleveland, bringing the 76ers back Roy Hinson, Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson. None of those three played more than three seasons with Philadelphia, while the Cavaliers selected center Brad Daugherty with the top pick.
Erving retired following the 1986-87 season, and the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1974-75 the following year. Barkley became an All-Star player but was unable to lift the team far in the playoffs the next three seasons before Philadelphia missed the postseason again in 1991-92.
Barkley became disgruntled, and the 76ers dealt him to Phoenix, receiving three players in return. Philadelphia failed to win as many as 30 games in a season in the five years after the Barkley trade, but the 1996 draft brought guard Allen Iverson with the No. 1 overall pick, and Larry Brown was hired as head coach prior to the 1997-98 season.
With Iverson leading the way, the 76ers started building back into a championship contender, adding center Dikembe Mutombo. Philadelphia returned to the playoffs in 1999, and by the 2000-01 season, Iverson was the league MVP and led the team to the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to the Lakers.
The team struggled with consistency after that, making the playoffs the next two seasons but getting eliminated early. Brown left after the 2002-03 season, and the 76ers missed the playoffs in two of the next three seasons after his departure.
In the 2006 offseason, Philadelphia dealt Iverson to the Denver Nuggets. For the next decade, the team struggled, making the playoffs just four times and bottoming out with only 10 wins in 2015-16.
Philadelphia selected Joel Embiid with the No. 3 pick in 2014, though he was injured and didn’t play immediately. The team earned the No. 1 pick in 2016 and selected LSU guard Ben Simmons, laying the groundwork for the rebuilding effort. The 76ers selected first in 2017 as well, selected guard Markelle Fultz.
The 2017-18 season brought a return to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, with the team winning more than 50 games for the first time since the run to the Finals in 2001.
Seventeen players who have played for the 76ers franchise are enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, including Iverson, Erving, Chamberlain, Malone, Barkley and Cunningham. Six men who have been coaches for the team are also enshrined in the Hall.
Despite losing All-Star guard Jimmy Butler in a trade to Miami, the Philadelphia 76ers entered 2019-20 with high hopes.The acquisition of Al Horford was giving the team more strength up front, and guard Josh Richardson came to the team in the Butler deal. Philadelphia jumped to a 20-7 start to the season, but struggles with injuries and chemistry saw the 76ers play mostly .500 ball from there, as they sat at 39-26 when the season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.
The inconsistency continued in the Orlando bubble during the restart of the season, with Philadelphia going 4-4 and losing Ben Simmons for the rest of the campaign three games in due to a knee injury. The 76ers entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and were quickly swept out of the postseason by the rival Boston Celtics. The uneven play and quick playoff exit cost Brett Brown his job, as he was fired just days after the season ended.
Doc Rivers enters his first season as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, but he’s been around the NBA for a long time. After a 14-year playing career with four different teams, Rivers moved into coaching, becoming the Orlando Magic head coach for the 1999-2000 season. In his first four seasons, Rivers led the Magic to the playoffs three times and won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award in 2000, but after a 1-10 start in 2003-04, Rivers was fired.
Rivers was the Boston Celtics’ head coach the next season, and he had his most coaching success there, reaching the playoffs in seven of his nine years at the helm, including winning the NBA title in 2008 and falling in the NBA Finals in 2010. In 2013, Rivers was essentially “traded” to the Los Angeles Clippers, becoming that team’s head coach.
The team finished in either first or second in the Pacific Division in each of Rivers’ seven years with the club, making the playoffs six times, but despite great expectations, the Clippers never made it past the conference semifinals. Following the 2019-20 season, Rivers stepped down, ready to move onto new challenges, which ended up being the 76ers job.
In his 20-plus seasons as an NBA head coach, Rivers has compiled a regular-season record of 943-681. Rivers’ teams have made the playoffs 16 times, and he has a 91-89 record in the postseason.
Tony Bradley, center, Utah Jazz
Seth Curry, guard, Dallas Mavericks
Terrance Ferguson, forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
Danny Green, forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
Dwight Howard, center, Los Angeles Lakers
Vincent Poirier, center, Boston Celtics
Al Horford, center, Oklahoma City Thunder
Josh Richardson, guard, Dallas Mavericks
Alec Burks, guard, New York Knicks
Glenn Robinson III, forward, Sacramento Kings
Isaiah Joe, guard, Arkansas
Tyrese Maxey, guard, Kentucky
Paul Reed, forward, DePaul
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