Playoffs 2018 East First Round: 76ers (3) vs. Heat (6)

Joel Embiid says 'our time is now' for young Philadelphia 76ers

* Tonight on TNT: Heat vs. Sixers (8 ET)

The Philadelphia 76ers are one win away from an Eastern Conference semifinals trip, which would be their first journey to that stage since 2012. With a young core featuring All-Star Joel Embiid, rookie phenom Ben Simmons and others, Philadelphia seems well stocked for future playoff runs.

However, to Embiid, the Sixers have more than enough to make a deep playoff run in 2018. When asked yesterday about his view of the team and how far it can go, Embiid did not hold back on what he thinks is possible. Keith Pompey of has more from Embiid:

“A lot of people say that we have a bright future,” Embiid said. “But I think our time is now. We have a pretty good chance [to contend for a title]. We have a special team, you know, a lot of great guys. I don’t think we need anybody else.”

Yet, the Sixers are expected to be a major player in free agency this summer. They’ll have enough cap space to lure an A-list free-agent, most notably LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar will become a free agent on July 1. The Sixers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Cavs are believed to be on his short list of teams.

However, as Embiid points out, the Sixers have a good thing going with the roster as it is currently constructed.

He thinks the team can go far in the playoffs by taking care of the little things like limiting turnovers.

“It’s just been amazing to see how much we’ve grown since the beginning of the year,” Embiid said, “because I think that was one our biggest flaws. We couldn’t close out games or we would blow leads.

“So I’ve been excited to see how much we’ve grown.”

Embiid has played in the Sixers’ last two playoff games. He missed the team’s 10 games before that as he recovered from surgery for an orbital fracture. He had hoped to play in Game 2 of the series after passing the NBA’s concussion protocol, but the Sixers are were conservative with his return and ruled him out for that game.

He is averaging 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and four blocks per game during the 2018 playoffs.

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