The 76ers were a good team before the NBA trade deadline, but nobody expected them to be serious contenders for the championship or to even make a deep playoff run. Now, the team traded one of their stars in Ben Simmons, who was sitting out every game, for James Harden. Harden is a former MVP and pairing him with Embiid may make them instant Finals contenders and possibly the best duo in the league.
This team struggled a lot in the new year. Kevin Durant had been hurt, Harden was “hurt”, and Kyrie Irving is only playing road games. This nearly knocked them from No. 1 in the East to out of the top eight teams in the conference. They should be watched closely as Durant is near to a return, and Ben Simmons has joined this team. They could be back to Finals competitors very soon.
Everybody always sleeps on the Jazz. Maybe for good reason, as they usually have a good regular season and blow it in the playoffs. This season, people have really been sleeping on them after they had a rough streak in 2022 so far. But, their two stars were out in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. With Mitchell back, they have looked again like one of the best teams in the West, and Gobert is just ramping up as well.
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