NBA playoffs could get very intriguing with trade deadline moves

NBA playoffs could get very intriguing with trade deadline moves
February 14
00:00 2019

Last week I wrote a column about NBA players forcing trades to get away from their current teams. I also stated that the most important move would be the trade between the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks, involving Kristaps Porzingis and Dennis Smith Jr.

It appears I wrote that column a day too early as the Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a great move at the deadline that could possibly swing the balance of power back to the Eastern Conference.

  The 76ers surprised everyone by trading for Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris. This move shows the present priorities of both teams for this season. Harris gives the 76ers much needed outside scoring, along with being a solid defensive player as well.

Harris is not a household name, but the almost All-Star is averaging 20.9 points per game this season. He makes the starting lineup for Philly right on par with the Golden State Warriors. The Sixers will start Joel Embiid, Harris, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick.

Earlier this season, Philly made a trade for Butler from Minnesota. Butler had a reputation for being somewhat disruptive in the locker room and that seemed to spill out on the court. The Sixers already had Embiid and Simmons as young stars and it appears as though they haven’t meshed with Butler yet.

Harris won’t have that problem. He does not need the ball in his hands every play to be effective offensively. At 6-foot-9 inches he can get his shot off in a variety of ways. If they can gel as a starting lineup before the playoffs begin, I don’t think any Eastern Conference team can beat them in a seven-game series. Milwaukee, Toronto and Boston are all formidable opponents, but the Sixers seem like the best team of them all, on paper.

Thursday also marked the end for the Markelle Fultz experiment in Philly. The Sixers dealt the former Number One overall pick to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons and a couple of draft picks. Fultz has not played since Nov. 19 because of a nerve issue in his right shoulder, diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It is a strong possibility that he may not play the rest of the season.

To me, it seems like Philly is throwing all their chips on the table and going all out for a chance to win the championship this year. It appeared the NBA playoffs would be very boring and predictable this year, but upon further analysis, they have the potential to be very interesting.

Let me close by saying I don’t think the Sixers will beat the Warriors in a seven-game series, although I would not bet against it. I am simply pointing out the fact Philly can’t be overlooked come playoff time.

I can’t wait until April.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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