Flyers and Sixers Both Hope to Make it Farther in the Playoffs Next Years

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Brendan McGuire, Sports Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers were eliminated from the 2020 playoffs early on. However, the situation is dramatically different when comparing the two franchises. 

The Sixers, who were swiftly swept by the Boston Celtics are looking at a possible rebuild process for this up-and-coming season, while the Flyers have reason to be satisfied with their current situation. 

The Flyers played a great season and even earned themselves the number one seed going into the playoffs. Some of their best hockey they played all year came towards the final stretch going into quarantine. They then proceeded to not miss a beat when they were allowed back on the ice in early August. 

They started out their  “bubble” season winning straight games against the three best teams in the East, the Bruins (4-1), the Capitols (4-1), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1). All of these wins are very notable and by decent margins as well. They then went on to beat the Canadians, a very defensively driven team, in six games, three of which Flyers goaltender, Carter Hart, recorded shutouts. However, they would fall short in the second round against a smarter, more controlled Islanders team getting beat 4-0. 

As for the offseason, not much needs to be done for the Flyers to be in contention for the Stanley Cup again next year. For one, they just need to be smarter. Limit penalties and offsides so as to not give opposing teams extra opportunities. Other than that, the Flyers look to be in a good position to make a run for the cup next year. 

As for the Sixers season, a disappointing regular season and a humiliating playoff performance leave them battered and in desperate need of either new management across the board or a significant roster adjustment. Some even suggest both. The Sixers’ embarrassing season has left many fans wondering what the process was for and what was gained besides an injury-prone, unmotivated center and a point guard/ power forward who seems unwilling to shoot more than one three-pointer of twenty games or so. Of course, there’s still time to turn things around but many feel like a shot at winning the finals has come and gone. 

Brett Brown being fired was a necessary move to make after his three consecutive years of deterioration. Some leading candidates for the head coaching job are Mark D’antoni, Tyronne Lue, Jason Kidd, and or Stan Van Gundy. Not exactly the list all Sixers fans were hoping for but a list with lots of experience nonetheless. 

As for the rest of the team, the offseason moves just didn’t work out the way Elton Brand had envisioned it would. For one, at the time this article is being written, Jimmy Butler has a young Heat team in the NBA finals for the first time since the LeBron James era. Tobias Harris has had a less than stellar year, looking more like a role player than a max contract player. Al Horford has proven to be probably the most disappointing of all the Sixers offseason moves as he gave next to nothing all season and especially in the bubble. Al Horford is making $27,250,000 per year for the next 4 years. Joel Embiid looked surprisingly good in the bubble as many expected him to not be in “game shape” after the long break.  Ben Simmons missed the final stretch of the season due to a back injury and first-round draft pick Matisse Thybulle proved to be a valuable defender but a nonfactor on the offensive side of the ball.