I had mentioned last week that the 76ers needed to do everything in their power to walk out of last week going 2-1 at the worst. I knew that they needed to beat the Nets for the tie breaker which could come into play and end up deciding which team gets the first seed, but they exceeded my expectations. The 76ers went 3-0 last week, all against tremendous teams. Granted, the nets were without Kevin Durant and James Harden, but they are still a good team with Kyrie Irving as the go to guy. Clippers were also without Star Kawhi Leonard, but once again they are a very well respected team and was on a win streak of their own before facing Philly with Paul George as their leader.
Obviously with massive wins like this it is only right that the 76ers move up in the Power Rankings. You don't beat 3 playoff teams, two of which are Top 3 in their respective conference. It seems as though the world is beginning to take notice of the impressive season the 76ers are having. Philadelphia currently sits 1.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the 1st seed, and hold a record of 39-17.
Current Ranking: 1
Previous Ranking: 4
The 76ers have taken reign of the 1st spot in both the Eastern Conference, and here in ESPN's Weekly Power Rankings. ESPN mentions that the win this week against the Brooklyn Nets was huge for the 76ers in the event that we tie for the 1st seed which would rule in favor of us. They also mention how holding onto the 1st seed gives the 76ers the easiest path to the playoffs right now if seeding stands in place.
Current Ranking: 2
Previous Ranking: 6
It seems as if Bleacher Report is putting their trust into the 76ers after the massive week they just had, and it is completely justified. Beating 3 playoff teams who all have their own star players is never easy, and its even harder to go 3-0 in the span of a single week. Bleacher Report mentions how Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle are absolute killers on defense, recording a defensive rating of 101.9 when both are on the floor together. If Thybulle can consistently shoot at a high volume in the near future, WATCH OUT. The only issue I have with Bleacher Reports PR is that they ranked the Los Angeles Clippers ahead of the 76ers even after just losing to them. Regardless, 1st and 2nd on the 2 biggest news outlets is fantastic.
Unfortunately for the 76ers, we face another tough schedule this week. Our first matchup this week comes on Monday, April 19th against the Golden State Warriors. At the time this article comes out it is unclear if Steph Curry will be playing, but if he does it will be tough. Fast forward to Wednesday, April 21st the 76ers face the Phoenix Suns on the first night of a back to back. The following night, and second day of a back to back, the 76ers will be facing the Milwaukee Bucks. The 76ers then finish the week off with a Saturday night matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks once again. This is gonna have to be another week where the 76ers walk out at least 3-1. I assume Joel Embiid will rest in 1 of the back to back games, putting the 76ers at a disadvantage already. Hopefully the 76ers pull through and complete another fantastic week of basketball.