The idea of the young, talented and fearless Philadelphia 76ers have the rest of the Eastern Conference nervous with the way they've played down the stretch of this season. "Trust The Process" is much more than just a catchy phrase these days, especially after the display the Sixers put on in Friday's instant classic against LeBron James and the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
The scariest part, though, for the rest of the East (and perhaps the league overall) is that they've done much of their best work lately without their best player, Joel Embiid, in uniform. Embiid was still in street clothes when the Sixers handled the Mavericks on Sunday, continuing his recovery from March 31 surgery to repair a left orbital fracture. But he'll be back for the playoffs. And as Sarah Todd of Phillynews.com points out, scary is exactly the word everyone seems to be using these days about these Sixers:
The Sixers have been successful since Embiid’s injury, intensifying the speed of the offense and relying heavily on the team’s long-range shooters. But as Embiid watched from the bench on Friday, he served as a stark reminder that the Sixers can be even better with him, and the margin for error without him is slim.
After the Sixers’ win, Brett Brown talked about the scene in the locker room and the togetherness of the team, led by Embiid. Even when he isn’t playing, Embiid’s presence and the way the team is coming together excited Brown as much as anything else.
For the rest of the team, one word kept coming up when asked what the Sixers could be when Embiid rejoins the them on the court.
“It would be scary. Scary,” Ben Simmons said after the game.
“It’s very scary to know we’re doing this without Jo,” Markelle Fultz said echoing Simmons.
When Robert Covington was asked if he thinks about what the team will look like in the playoffs with Embiid he had the same answer.
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