Last night the 76ers ended their regular season by soundly defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, 130-95, at the Wells Fargo Center. That means the team is heading to the playoffs with a 16 straight wins and their desired Eastern Conference No. 3 seed. It also means that if you haven’t been paying attention all season, now is probably a good time to start. Here’s everything you need to know to sound like you’ve been keeping up with the Sixers all season — don’t worry, we won’t tell.
When is the team’s first playoff game?
What’s the deal with Joel Embiid and his mask?
Embiid is the Sixers’ star center and one of the key reasons why the Sixers have been such a force this season. He was injured during the Sixers’ 118-101 victory against the New York Knicks on March 28 after colliding with teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid suffered a fractured orbital bone, for which he has already had surgery, and a concussion. There is currently no timetable for his return, but Embiid told reporters that it’s unlikely that he’ll play in Game 1. Bummer. (Or columnist David Murphy thinks otherwise.) Read more about Embiid’s injury here.
“No one cared who I was until I put on the mask”…. The Phantom of The Process pic.twitter.com/JOkQxCAxYA
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) April 12, 2018
In addition to being a baller, Embiid is also known for his hilarious social media commentary and failed attempts to woo Rihanna on Twitter back in 2014.
Who are the players that I should know?
The Sixers’ roster is loaded with talent.
- Markelle Fultz is the Sixers’ 19-year-old point guard who just became the youngest NBA player ever to notch a triple-double during the Bucks game on Wednesday. (A triple-double is when a player accumulates a double digit number total in three of five statistical categories — points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots — in a game.) Fultz was out for most of the season with shoulder injury.
- Ben Simmons, the do-it-all player from Australia, is pretty much a lock-in for the Rookie of the Year award, something Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell has a problem with. Expect him to redefine how NBA basketball is played in the near future. You should also know that Simmons doesn’t really have a jump shot, although word on the street is that he’s getting better.
- In the playoffs, the Sixers will also heavily rely on point guard JJ Redick, the team’s de facto leader and best shooter (don’t sleep on his podcast either), and power forward Dario Saric, whose shooting has improved since last season.
Who is Brett Brown?
Brett Brown is the Sixers coach. He’s received a ton of credit for helping the younger players hit their stride and our columnist Marcus Hayes even thinks Brown deserves to win coach of the year for making Simmons a point guard.
Why does everyone keep saying “trust the process”?
The process was coined by former general manager Sam Hinkie, who believed in sacrificing short-term wins in favor of long-term victories. That meant trading away their best players for draft picks and building a core of young players with superstar potential. Simmons and Fultz were both first overall picks. And it’s clear that Hinkie’s approach has worked, judging from the Sixers’ season.
Where can I find some nifty Philly-based Sixers gear?
Check out Aphillyated, a local brand that Meek Mill has been spotted wearing. Shibe Vintage Sports also offers vintage-style apparel and hats. Cheesesteak Tees and Bark Tees are also good spots to look if you’re looking to stand out in a sea of jerseys.
Is there a Sixers song?
I am so glad you asked, budding Sixers fan! In fact, there is a song. Written and recorded in 1975, it’s called “Here Come the Sixers.” It’s not played at the Wells Fargo Center unless they win at home, but people are really digging this throwback jam already. Including, of course, the players themselves.