During training camp Johnson was one of the more trepidatious of the Sixers when it came to saying the playoffs were a goal.
"He will not play in Game 1, and from that point going forward, we'll figure some out", Brown told Patrick. But amazingly, half of those games would be without Joel Embiid.
After missing 68 straight games with a mysterious shoulder ailment, the number one overall pick in the 2017 draft is finally available for action. With this newfound success over the course of this season, is this team here to stay?
2018 NBA Playoffs: The Biggest Questions For Each First-Round Series (read here): Along those same lines, Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated posed the biggest questions regarding each and every first round series, including how far Giannis Antetokounmpo can lift the Bucks to a potential upset over the Celtics. It was certainly unlikely while he was sidelined for 68 games.
Their reward? A first-round matchup with the No. 6-seeded Miami Heat, who will be champing at the bit for this showdown. So for the Heat to have taken them down twice during this stretch certainly does no harm to their confidence entering the series.
When healthy, Joel Embiid is one of the best defensive players in the league - oh, and he's also the team's leading scorer. Embiid is an all-around big man who can pull up from nearly anywhere on the court, so I expect this to be a nightmare for the Celtics to deal with. The season series was 2-2, with both teams winning their home games.
Simmons was the Eastern Conference March-April Rookie of the Month. In the game against the Cavaliers, he was "Lebron-esque" in a sense, taking command of the game late and leading the team to victory, even though the Cavs nearly came back. "They've just been there for me and have boosted my confidence, that why I love them".
The Sixers beat up on some awful teams during their season-closing 16-game winning streak (only three of those 16 opponents will be in the playoffs this weekend), but still, 16 straight wins is impressive. It is very possible, but at the end of the day, all roads lead to LeBron.
Fultz did close the year with a triple-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and there still is some hope in Philly that Fultz can get back to gaining confidence in the playoffs.