If so, the Sixers look like the third-best team in the East. They'll run teams into submission on many nights, especially at home, and now have the rock-solid post threat to win half-court battles, too. The lack of shooting seems to be the only thing standing between them and a place in the conference finals.To read more about Hollinger's Sixers analysis, click here.
The Sixers giant turn-around at the end of last season was one of the great stories of the NBA season. Like we mentioned before, the addition of Brand and other role players will only make this great defensive team even better. The guys who have been here have bought into Maurice Cheeks' school of thought. So much so that only the Celtics forced more turnovers per defensive possession than the Sixers.
With the addition of Brand, expectations are high for them. Fans must remember that a majority of the team is still very young. While expectations are high, it remains to be seen how they deal with the pressure. Over the last two seasons, the team was just playing to play. When everyone thought they were down and out, they put together a great effort -- but there was not much pressure. They were still rebuilding after Iverson. At least everyone outside of the team felt that way.
However, we saw what little playoff experience has done for the Phillies. Maybe it'll do the same for the young bunch of the 76ers.