The Philadelphia 76ers changed their team over the summer after a disappointing end to the 2021–22 season when they didn’t even make it out of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They will now try to win the championship in the coming year. During the offseason, the Sixers added P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, and Montrezl Harrell to their team. They also re-signed James Harden.
The new style is here. The Sixers want to get to the conference finals for the first time since 2001. It could be a memorable season if things go well for the Sixers. Here are four big ideas for the next season, from 22–23.
Joel Embiid Finally Gets the MVP Award
Joel Embiid came in second to Nikola Jokic, the center for the Denver Nuggets, in MVP voting each of the last two seasons. Embiid may finally win the league’s highest individual honor this season. Jokic was a worthy winner, but it’s clear that Embiid has been the best player and deserves the award. Last season, he was the first center since Shaquille O’Neal to lead the league in scoring and the first since Moses Malone to average more than 30 points per game. He also played in a career-high 68 matches, which is very important because he has had trouble staying healthy, which has hurt his chances of winning the MVP award.
As long as Embiid stays healthy, he should continue to put up great numbers as he has for the past two years. It will place him right back in the MVP conversation. Some voters might be influenced by the fact that Embiid was close to winning the last two years. Plus, Embiid has a history on his side. Jerry West and George Gervin are the only players in NBA history to finish second in MVP voting more than once and not win the award.
Tyrese Maxey Makes his First Team of All-Stars
It just prepared a list of five potential 2023 All-Stars. Tyrese Maxey, a third-year Sixer, made a list. Maxey started at point guard in Ben Simmons’ absence last season and never looked back, even after James Harden was added. His increased role made him a crucial part of Philadelphia’s offense.
Maxey’s scoring increased from 8 to 17.5 points per game, and his assists doubled from 2 to 4.3. His 3-point shooting improved from 30% to 42% last season. This growth helped him become an excellent complement to All-Star center Joel Embiid, and his agility could help him integrate with Harden in Philadelphia’s backcourt. Maxey’s persistent work ethic will undoubtedly earn him All-Star honors if he keeps improving.
James Harden Stands First in Assists
Harden finished second in assists per match last season despite being moved midseason. Chris Paul averaged. Five more assists per game than Harden’s previous season (10.8 compared to 10.3). Paul and Harden averaged double-digit assists, and the Sixers added more dimes-droppers for Harden over the offseason. Harden knows P.J. Tucker and Danuel House from his time in Houston.
Harden’s ability to penetrate the defense and spray the ball out will help those two. Harden played with Montrezl Harrell in Houston from 2015 to 2017. Harrell is an excellent pick-and-roll partner for Harden and will likely get some assists. Harden has previously led the NBA in assists. Also, in 2016-17.