Chris Love couldn’t be happier. The Philadelphia 76ers are finally watchable — a lot more than they were last year, when they ended the season with the worst record in the NBA and almost the worst record in league history.
“I believe I went to a game and they lost by 40 something, and the only reason I went was to accompany my father,” said Love.
The lifelong Sixers fan said this season gave him hope. With 28 wins, the team nearly tripled its total wins. But Love also felt something he hadn’t experienced in the last few seasons: excitement.
“This is the third or fourth rebuilding season, but it’s the first season you felt like you could actually see something tangible happening,” said Love.
A lot of the excitement came during a stretch in January when the team went 10-5 behind the play of near-All-Star center Joel Embiid.
“He was like lights out — like a monster on the court. That was amazing to finally see someone go out there and play the way he was playing. Everyone they had out there was basically D-League players,” said longtime fan Dave Butler, who thinks the Sixers could make the playoffs next season if the team stays healthy.
A knee injury sidelined Embiid for the season. Point guard Ben Simmons, the Sixers’ first round draft pick in 2016, went down with a foot injury.
Kevin Taddei agreed with Butler and Love: Things are finally looking up for the Sixers. Which means he may be tweeting “no” fewer times next season from this straightforward account, “Did the Sixers win?”
Taddei said he thinks the Sixers could reach the playoffs as early as next season. They haven’t done that since the 2011-2012 season.
“The East’s eighth seed was 41-41 and we went 28-54,” he said.
Fans are now looking forward to the NBA draft in June, where the Sixers could have two first-round draft picks from a highly anticipated class of players