Despite a 1-5 start to the season, followed by a string of injuries to Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and James Harden (among others), the Philadelphia 76ers have won 10 of their last 15 games, improving to 11-9 on the season.
They've done so thanks to a motley crew of role players stepping up to succeed in roles far larger than they're accustomed to. With Tobias Harris (22.8 points per game last week) as a steadying hand, Shake Milton (22.8), Georges Niang (14) and Paul Reed (11/10) have given the Sixers the boost that they needed this past week, elevating the Sixers to an impressive 3-1 over that stretch.
They're not out here beating a murderers' row of opponents, and what has worked against Orlando in November most likely won't work against Boston in May, and many of these players will need to adapt what they're doing now into their previous roles once Embiid, Harden and Maxey return. But those are concerns for another day, as right now the key is that the Sixers have weathered the storm in an admirable way and put themselves in position to shrug off what could have been a disastrous opening quarter of the season.
- Overview of the Sixers' week.
- A look at the week ahead.
- Encouraging trends.
- Concerning trends.
- Stray thoughts.
- Required reading.