CAMDEN, N.J.–At the moment, the Philadelphia 76ers are sitting at 36-19 and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They have a lot of talent led by Joel Embiid and James Harden as well as one of the stronger supporting casts in the league.
After a 12-12 start, they have kicked it into high gear and they have won 24 of their last 31 games to make a big move up the standings in the Eastern Conference. They have established themselves as legitimate title contenders as they will challenge the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks to get to the finals.
“I think we’ve put ourselves in position to win the title,” said team president Daryl Morey on Friday. “That’s what you wanna do when you get to this point. I think we made an upgrade. We’re hoping to continue to make some upgrades and we want to be playing our best basketball going into the playoffs. We have a very tough stretch in March and I think that stretch should help us battle-hardened as we get into the playoffs.”
However, there is still the question of basketball maturity that the team believes they still lack at the moment. That maturity to be able to withstand any hits and keep pushing forward in the playoffs is something they haven’t yet figured out.
“We haven’t won the title,” said Morey. “We have to give respect to the teams that have. I think you saw Golden State last year and the level of experience and toughness that they had. That’s something our players and Doc (Rivers) works every day to improve ourselves in, but we gotta go out there and prove it.”
Morey then gave Rivers a lot of credit for getting everybody on the same page as they get ready for the stretch run and the playoffs.
“I think all our players, myself, and Doc, and we all say we gotta get better with Doc’s theme was just everyone look at themselves and how they can get better and I think that goes from the front office all the way down to the 15th player,” Morey finished. “That was Doc’s theme. It was a great message.”