The 2022 76ers season started off with controversy. Ben Simmons, after a disappointing playoff performance in the 2021 season, refused to play for the team. The fans had turned on him for his lack of confidence and skill in the playoffs, and he appeared to be done with the organization. With Ben Simmons on the sidelines, the Sixers went through the regular season. Finally, after months of tenuous relations, on February 10th the 76ers agreed to trade Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and draft picks.
Despite this rough start, the Sixers had a decent regular season! They ended up fourth in the east, clinching a playoff spot very comfortably. The Sixers faced the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2022 playoffs.
In the first two games, the Sixers dominated the Raptors, showing their championship potential and giving the fans a lot to hope for. In-game three, Embiid won with a turnaround 3-pointer to give the Sixers a 104-101 victory. Up 3-0, it looked pretty promising for the fans, but in games four and five we saw a less pretty sixers team. Siakam played brilliantly and the raptors took two games back from the sixers. With very poor performances in games four and five, a bit of fear may have crept into the hearts of the fans. However, in-game six, the Sixers dominated and won the series. The Raptors series did show Embiid looking a bit slow and lingering injuries.
The second round is against the Miami Heat, the first seed in the east. This series is not going as well. With Embiid out the Heat cruised to a 2-0 lead at home. The Sixers then managed to win two and tie it back up at 2-2 off of some horrible shooting games from the heat. In-game five the Heat came back into control and blew out the 76ers. At the time of this article, game six has not been played and it will be interesting to see if the Heat can close it out or if the Sixers championship pipedream will stay alive.
On the other side of the NBA, Nikola Jokic has beaten out Embiid in the MVP race, upsetting many fans who thought Embiid could win this year. Many point to Jokic and his failure in the playoffs (losing 4-1 to GSW) as proof of Embiid being the better player. This is Jokic’s 2nd MVP award.