The Sixers had an amazing last season, which culminated in 52 wins, a third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and winning a first-round playoff series.
Philadelphia surprised many people and with LeBron James playing in Los Angeles with the Lakers, the Sixers are being looked at as one of the best teams in the East.
However, former NBA player Shawn Marion does not believe in the Sixers next season. Marion was interviewed by Sportsnet in Canada about a myriad of NBA topics including how the Eastern Conference will shape up.
“I think Philly had a great year last year, I don’t see them repeating what they did last year, I see them being a four-seed in the Eastern Conference, I think if all these teams stay healthy, I’ll take Boston as my pick for No. 1,” he said.
On paper, it is easy to say that you cannot see the Sixers repeating their success last season because they went on a ridiculous 16-game winning streak to end the regular season. Not to mention, they were not able to acquire a star this offseason (LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard).
But you cannot dismiss what both point guard Ben Simmons and center Joel Embiid did on the court last season. Then there’s also Markelle Fultz, who is a potential wild card in the Sixers’ success next season.
Later in the Q&A, Marion furthered elaborated on who he believes will finish higher than the Sixers and what he does not like about the team.
“No. 2, I’ll give them the nod ahead of Toronto a little bit, it’s Washington They got some great additions this summer, I think they got a chance to do something very special,” explained Marion.
“I’mma give the 3 to Toronto and then you go Philly. I think Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are awesome and then you got some young guys on their team, but I don’t like their system, I think it’s too predicated on hitting the three-ball and transition.”
It’s funny that Marion said he doesn’t like the Sixers’ system when a majority of the NBA is playing this style of basketball.
For example, just take a look at the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors for example. Both teams love to get out in transition and have a love for three-ball, especially the Rockets.
The days of playing slow down the pace basketball are yesterday’s news in the NBA. If you want to win games, you have to be able to shoot effectively and score in transition.
Marion also failed to mention that the Sixers actually play defense, which allows them to get out and score points in transition. Last season, the Sixers held opponents to 105.3 points per game, which was good for 11th in the association.
We shall see if Marion’s prediction come true this upcoming season. The Sixers will have a target on their back based on their success and must be ready for anything that comes their way.