For years, Philadelphia fans have subjected themselves to the promise of "The Process," a loss-oriented projected that landed the Sixers multiple top draft picks and a staggering number of losses.
On Friday night, the first small fruit of that wait finally blossomed.
With just under four minutes remaining in the first half, Sixers head coach Brett Brown inserted Joel Embiid (third pick in 2014), Ben Simmons (first pick in 2016) and Markelle Fultz (first pick in 2017) alongside Dario Saric (12th pick in 2014) and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (24th pick in 2016). The lineup gave Philly fans a close-up look at what they've been waiting to see, especially while Simmons and Embiid recovered from season-ending injuries last year.
The group didn't disappoint, outscoring the Celtics 11-5 over the final minutes of the half. That span included a 7-0 spurt heading into intermission, with five of those points coming from Simmons. One sequence saw Embiid block a shot and Fultz steal the ensuing pass after Boston recovered, though Saric missed the 3-point opportunity on the other end.
The push gave Philadelphia its first lead of the game -- and the Sixers a glimpse into a potentially bright future.