The Philadelphia 76ers are led by two of the game’s brightest stars, Joel Embiid and — for the moment — Ben Simmons. They are the reasons Philadelphia has to be included in the mix for the Eastern Conference title on a yearly basis.
The Sixers earned the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the 2020-21 season for the first time since the Allen Iverson era, and they had a great deal of success out on the floor. It helped, of course, that the front office went out and brought in shooters to help properly space the floor, but Embiid and Simmons are the main catalysts.
As the 2021-22 season approaches, ESPN surveyed its NBA experts to predict who will win the individual awards this season.
Embiid received 5.6% of first-place votes to win the MVP award, finishing fourth on the list behind third-place Luka Doncic, second-place Giannis Antetokounmpo and first-place Kevin Durant. Embiid finished as the MVP runner-up in 2021 after he averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds while taking steps forward in efficiency and attacking double teams.
Embiid also finished fifth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. He again received 5.6% of first-place votes. He finished behind Draymond Green (fourth), Antetokounmpo (third), Anthony Davis (second) and Rudy Gobert (first). Embiid averaged 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in the 2020-21 season, so he is a big defensive presence out on the floor.
Behind Embiid in the voting was Simmons, who finished in sixth place for the voting. He received 11 points, compared to Embiid’s 15. Simmons is one of the elite defenders in the league. He can guard 1 through 5 and routinely takes on the opponent’s toughest scorer on a nightly basis.
In terms of voting to win the Eastern Conference, the Sixers finished fourth behind the Miami Heat, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets. For the NBA title, the Sixers also finished fourth in the voting behind the Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Nets.
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Source: Yahoo Sports