THE Philadelphia 76ers are riding high, winning three of their last four games, including a 105-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday (Monday, Manila time) to match their win total from last season this early in the new year.
Joel Embiid, though, is already setting his sights higher.
Speaking to reporters after Sunday’s win, Embiid said he thinks the 76ers, eight games behind the eighth place Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings, have what it takes to make the playoffs and that the team should aim to make it to the postseason.
“I think we have a chance. We've been hot lately. We've won three out of four lately, so I look at it, and I think we have a chance, and we're really figuring things out. We're starting to learn how to win games,” said Embiid.
With Embiid out with a foot injury last year, Philadelphia only managed a 10-72 record, one loss away from matching the worst finish set by the same franchise in NBA history during the 1972-73 season. Compared to their record at this point last year, the 76ers held a 4-34 card. But with Embiid leading the way, they stand at 10-25.
Embiid played spectacular against Brooklyn, posting his sixth straight game of scoring at least 20 in under 30 minutes of play, after ending up with 20 points against the Nets.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, though, is careful not to get carried away and look far ahead, focusing instead on improving their performance each game.
“We are winning basketball games more frequently than we have been, but for us it’s still, how are we doing what we do? Are we doing our job? Are we not skipping steps? Are we putting in good days? And we believe as simple as that might sound, that they will add up,” said Brown.