By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
We are all still awaiting how the NBA will go about resuming its play once this pandemic is over. Although there is still nothing close to a timetable on when sports can resume again, it seems like we might get NBA playoffs at some point during this summer.
Reports have come out that the draft lottery and combined have been pushed back to no surprise. There was also a report that came out stating that the 2020-2021 season may not begin until December.
ESPN Sources: As ownership support grows for the idea, NBA and Board of Governors continued discussions on Friday about delaying start of 2020-2021 season until December. https://t.co/wkYUyxjPtQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2020
Delaying the start of next season gives me the impression that the league is aiming to crown a champion for this season. Although this suspended season has been far from fun, it was a saving grace for the Sixers.
The biggest reason it saved the Sixers is health. As we know when play was still going on the injury bug had taken a big toll on the Sixers. Ben Simmons had an injured back with no timetable of return and Joel Embiid had just returned to the lineup after missing five games.
This delay in the season has now given both stars the time to rehab and recover in peace without the pressure of returning to the court as fast as possible. Having them both fully healthy to kick off the playoffs (if they happen) makes this team much more dangerous.
The other reason why it should be looked at as saving grace is that this team has been handed something that has never happened before, a clean slate heading into the playoffs.
For the first time when the playoffs start, it is going to feel like day one for every team. Fatigue and nagging injuries will be a nonissue as players have had months to recover, and teams will all be knocking the rust off as they try to pull it together to be the champion of this crazy season.
Expectations were set very high on the Sixers heading into the start of this regular season. Sadly, most would agree that the team did not come close to the expectations that were thrown upon them back in October. But the most beautiful part of it all, none of it matters now.
The Sixers can take all the mishaps of this short regular season and put it all behind them. They can head into the playoffs and treat it as day one of a new beginning.
Brett Brown and company can look at the regular season as a trial run and a base for what worked and what didn’t. Along with having two months (and maybe more) to come up with solutions to maximize the talent on this roster to compete for a title.
The Sixers now don’t have to go into the playoffs hearing all the negativity from the media about their record or seeding as the playoffs are going to be basically day one of a new mini-season.
This roster still has more than enough talent to go and chase a title. It is still going to be an uphill battle if they find themselves stuck at the sixth seed, but this delayed postseason could save what some people were calling a lost season.