The Philadelphia 76ers traditionally get off to a fast start with Joel Embiid, especially from his second season on, and this season has seen the team in its best form out of the gates since the superstar’s arrival.
The Sixers are 8-1, the best record in the NBA, and they have +1600 odds to win the NBA title with FanDuel Pennsylvania Sportsbook entering Tuesday’s games.
Here is a look at how the team has done in the first 10 games of each season since Embiid entered the league (the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons were shortened because of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and those years are noted with the * symbol):
Sixers Starts With Embiid
Sixers Seek Best Start With Embiid
If the Sixers win at home against Indiana on Tuesday night – they are 5-point favorites with most major Pennsylvania sports betting operators – their 9-1 mark will be the best the franchise has had since Embiid entered the league in the 2016-17 season. He played only 31 games that rookie year after the center was drafted No. 3 overall out of Kansas in the 2014 draft. He missed what would have been his first two full seasons because of foot injuries and finally made his debut on Oct. 26, 2016. Embiid played 31 games in that rookie season as the Sixers finished 28-54, missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season as “The Process” played out.
But Philadelphia has made the playoffs six straight years since then and Caesars Pennsylvania Sportsbook has Embiid at +800 odds to win league Most Valuable Player for the second straight season.
Embiid has perhaps defied health expectations, considering the history of big men in basketball who have foot injuries when they’re young. He had played at least 50 games in each season since 2017-18 and has been an All-Star selection in each of those seasons. Last year Embiid was the first Sixer to earn MVP honors since Allen Iverson in 2000-01.
Sixers on Winning Streak
Since losing to Milwaukee in their season opener, the Sixers have won eight in a row, including Sunday’s 137-126 victory over the same Pacers team that they’ll face tonight at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. BetMGM Pennsylvania Sportsbook has the over/under at 240.5 for tonight’s game (both the over and under were at -110 as of Tuesday afternoon). Tonight’s matchup is not only a regular-season game, but it counts toward the in-season tournament that the NBA has instituted for this season.
In that game on Sunday, Embiid played nearly 33 minutes, led the team with 13 rebounds and had 37 points; Tyrese Maxey scored 50 as Philly extended its longest winning streak since last March. After facing Indiana, the Sixers play host to eternal rival Boston on Wednesday. The Sixers, the league's only one-loss team, lead the Celtics (8-2) by half a game for first place in the Atlantic Division.
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