If you have just realized now that the Philadelphia 76ers are on a hot streak and are an uprising team in the NBA, then you are late on the bandwagon.
Ever since starting off the season with a poor 3-13 record, their record since then is 24-15. In fact, they have won nine of their last 12.
And something else fans don’t realize is they have lost 10 games within five points or less.
The Sixers could easily be a top team in the Eastern Conference right now, but instead they are the seven seed playing like a top four.
They are currently right behind the New York Knicks for the sixth seed and that the rate they are at, they will surpass the Knicks.
Throughout the season, we have witnessed many players come through for the team, especially guys like Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand.
There are certainly reasons for this huge turnaround this year and we are going to get to the bottom of it.
10. Winning Is Contagious
At first we thought losing was contagious, but instead after a slow start, they started to win some games and soon a hot streak formed and it has been very contagious lately.
The Sixers keep winning more and more games and they continue to compete every night.
It seems that each night they keep improving on something or do something spectacular that leads to a win.
They just finished off on a good note after defeating the Houston Rockets last night and I see a lot more wins in the future for this squad.
9. Developing Young Talent
They have a ton of young talent with a lot of potential. The Sixers have a lot of young talent, but Evan Turner is their main young and upcoming star.
Many fans have placed the bust label on Turner already and we aren’t even halfway through the season.
Is that even fair?
Turner has a lot of potential. he just needs to focus on his jump shot and use more of his craftiness to get his points since he isn’t the most athletic player out there.
He is already a great rebounder for his size and is getting better at defense.
Other players like Jodie Meeks and Lou Williams have done a great job this season. And let’s not forget Jrue Holiday who is playing like a top point guard.
This team will be around for a while so they aren’t leaving anytime soon, Sixers fans.
8. Jrue Holiday Is Living Up To Potential
Jrue Holiday has been playing like a top point guard this season.
This season he is averaging 13.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. He also averaging just under four rebounds per game.
He has improved on not turning over the ball and has developed a solid three-point shot this season.
With his great play this season, he also earned a spot on the Sophomore team in the Rookie Challenge this All-Star Weekend.
Holiday is arguably a top-10 point guard this year and will definitely be in the top 10 (top five?) for years to come.
7. Team Chemistry Has Risen
After playing barely half of the season, the Sixers have learned from many mistakes quickly.
Doug Collins put it in great words after a victory against the Knicks a week ago when he stated, “These guys have learned mistakes from themselves. They don’t need me when it comes to that.”
Every night they improve on their mistakes and the little things that will determine the difference between a win and a loss.
What does that say about these young guys?
It says how much they have matured from last season and how much confidence their coach has in them.
They have put together a huge rebound season and continue to compete against teams like the Lakers, Heat, Thunder, Mavericks, Magic and the Hawks.
They recently took down the best team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs.
What more could you ask for?
They have proven they can compete with any given team on any given night. These guys have developed great chemistry throughout this season.
6. Playing Great Defense
This season they have improved greatly on defense. Specifically because this is something Doug Collins has stressed.
In their recent win against the Spurs, they held the best team in the league to just 71 points.
The Sixers currently rank as the 13th best defense in the league by allowing 96 points per game. Last season they allowed over 101 points per game.
Does anyone else see an improvement here?
The Sixers have been able to shutdown superstars like Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard and have been able to demolish teams like the Hawks.
5. Iguodala Playing with Team USA
During the FIBA World Championships, Iguodala flourished with Team USA. This played a major impact on how he has played this season.
Over the past few years, Iguodala has been the No. 1 guy on the Sixers. Every Sixers fan out there will tell you he cannot be a No. 1 player on a team if they want to win a championship.
However, he can be the best complementary player in the league. We all witnessed it with Team USA.
This season Iggy has realized he can’t focus one being the best player. Instead, he has focused on being the facilitator.
He makes all the right plays, gets rebounds, dishes out assists and plays great defense. By focusing on these things the offense starts to revolve around him, even though he isn’t scoring every time.
A perfect example was his game against the New York Knicks about a week ago. Iguodala scored 18 points and dished out 16 assists.
As Iguodala keeps focusing on what he does best by doing a little bit of everything, he is becoming a more effective player.
4. They Have an Identity
Throughout this season, the Sixers have developed an identity.
Before this year, they were just another one of those bad teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Teams felt indifferent about them and considered them not a threat at all.
Well, not this year.
The Sixers have developed an identity and now everyone knows who they are. This year, teams are going into games against them thinking, “Hey, this won’t be so easy.”
This “identity” has motivated them, too.
They have turned into a fast pace team who is all about defense. This has clearly been tough for other teams to go up against.
Every team knows who the Sixers are now and they continue to serve as a detour for every team.
3. Everyone Knows Their Role
Last season, the Sixers were very unorganized under Eddie Jordan (that Princeton offense didn’t work, buddy).
This season we have witnessed many players like Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks, Thaddeus Young and others show up and had big games many times.
Why did this happen?
Because they all have their own role.
Meeks focuses on purely shooting. He waits for the ball to be kicked out to him and his job to hit that shot. When he’s hot, he has his big night and makes that shot nine out of 10 times.
Same goes with Sweet Lou, but his role has been bigger. Not only does focus on shooting, but he has been very clutch this season. Thad has also had big nights as well.
The reason why some of the bench players, or even regular starters, are having big nights is because now they are assigned to their own role and strictly focusing on that.
This has been a huge reason why they have made a turnaround and why their bench is very effective. Any player is dangerous and each night a new player comes through.
2. The Rejuvenated Elton Brand
Elton Brand has definitely made the biggest turnaround this season individually. He may not be in his All-Star form that he was with the Clippers, but he has certainly improved.
Earlier in his career, Brand was a down and dirty player who would get his all of his points at the low post. In his first couple seasons with the Sixers, it seemed he had lost everything.
Brand was about to become one of the biggest signing busts ever.
However, this season, he proved fans wrong. During the offseason, he rejuvenated himself into a new, improved and different player.
Now he is getting his points by settling for 10-foot jump shots. His shot at the elbow has developed into his sweet spot as he ranks 13th in field goal percentage in the entire league.
This season he is averaging 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
1. Doug Collins
Doug Collins is the main reason why this team has made a turnaround. I cannot stress how much of a great job he has been doing.
Collins made the Sixers play tight defense and has assigned everyone a role. He has done a great job of taking it game by game.
He walked into this season trying to turnaround a team who won just 27 games last season. Already, he has won 27 games and we have not even reached the halfway mark yet.
Collins helped this team win the same amount of games the first half of the year as they did last season. Not to mention, he was entering a city where the pressure is on and where the fans are brutal.
The squad has flourished in his system and they continue to compete every game no matter who they play.
Let me also add that they are right below a six seed in the playoffs right now.
Without Collins, this team isn’t what it is right now and that is fact. It makes fans and players realize how important he is to the team’s success.
The Sixers are on fire this season and are looking to remain hot after the All-Star Break.
The main reason for this is by far Collins. Did you notice that he is the reason for almost every reason I mentioned?
Either way, fans have to realize how good the 76ers can be and how much of a rebound they have made. They took a huge step forward from last season.
Sixers fans have a lot to look forward to with this young squad. They have a lot of potential to be a very dangerous team come