Power Rankings Roundup: Where do the 76ers stand after three weeks?
Despite being without Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers have had a great start to the 2021-2022 season. The Sixers are 5-2, with one of those losses being a last-minute loss to the Brooklyn Nets. While the saga off the court continues, Joel Embiid and company are getting in done on the court, tied for the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
76ers fans aren’t the only ones who have taken note of the impressive start. Philadelphia has been ranked amongst the top teams in the league so far but has a brutal stretch ahead, possibly without Tobias Harris. Ahead of that, let’s see how the 76ers stand in power rankings across the country.
“Seth Curry and Joel Embiid are rolling and the 76ers have been taking care of business, falling to just the two New York teams.”
NBA: 7th (Previously 6th)
“The Sixers have the league’s No. 1 offense and play four of their next five games against teams that also rank in the top 10, a stretch that ends with another meeting with the Knicks.”
ESPN: 8th (Previously 7th)
“Ben Simmons remains sidelined, and Joel Embiid’s knee remains a concern. Still, Saturday’s dominant win over Atlanta is a reminder that, even without Simmons, Philadelphia can be an imposing defensive team — and that Matisse Thybulle, who had four steals and three blocks in 23 minutes off the bench, is a terror for opposing guards and wings.”
Sports Illustrated: 9th (Previously 10th)
“The Sixers earned a small measure of revenge for last summer’s postseason exit by walloping the Hawks 122–94 Saturday. Joel Embiid’s turnovers are slightly down so far compared to last season. With Ben Simmons out, his playmaking—and ability to pass out of double teams—is perhaps the biggest key to Philly’s success.”
The Athletic: 10th (Previously 11th)
“How can you not be concerned about Joel Embiid’s health right now? The Philadelphia 76ers are already down a star, and coming out the gate, it sounds like Embiid is struggling with that knee. He banged it to start the season and the numbers reflect that he might not have his legs under him. Embiid’s shots coming inside of 10 feet are down 14.3 percentage points for volume. That’s a massive drop-off even in a small sample size.
We’re also seeing a lot higher volume of 3-point attempts than a year ago. So what does that mean? Could be coincidental, but it feels like he’s settling for jumpers. That would make sense if his knee isn’t right and he’s trying to keep pressure off it. It’s not hurting the Sixers offense at all, yet, but they might want to give him some rest early in the season to pay off for the long haul of this campaign.”
Sporting News: 14th (Previously 12th)
“The Knicks’ defence did an impressive job bottling up Embiid, but he bounced back by taking his frustration out on the Pistons. Going for a dominant 30 points and 18 rebounds to carry his team to a win, it felt like this was the controlling game of the season for the four-time All-Star.
With off-court distractions falling to the background for now, expect Embiid to start ramping things up over the coming weeks as he gets into game shape.”
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It’s quite the range for the 76ers here, with some having them as a legitimate contender for the NBA Finals still while others have them nearly out of the playoff picture. Philadelphia has the Bulls twice, the Bucks, and the Knicks once more in the near future.
These next several games could very well make or break their opinion around the league for this season. The 76ers are back in action tonight, hosting the Chicago Bulls.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today
[…] being ranked as a decent playoff contender last week, the Philadelphia 76ers have soared to the top of the NBA after a few huge wins. […]