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Kendrick Perkins Says 'Don't Be Surprised' If 76ers Come Out Of The East: "I Love The Way This Team Is Constructed Right Now.”

Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers have been on a tear over the past few weeks. As winners of 5 in a row, and 8 in their last 10 games, Philly has quickly moved up the standings in the East and now stand just half a game back from the first-place Bulls.

Most impressively, the Sixers are doing it all without Ben Simmons, who has yet to play a single game this season.

Despite Philly's play of late, many aren't giving them much of a chance without the young star in action.

But on NBA Today, ESPN's Kendrick Perkins boldly claimed they could make it out of the East, with or without Mr. Simmons.

“Philly has an underrated squad. You know why they're not pressing to trade Ben Simmons? Because of the play of Tyrese Maxey. Tyrese Maxey was really supposed to be a lottery pick, shout out to all the stupid GMs that passed up on him. Look, this kid is a flat-out young star and then with the big Philly, he cannot be stopped. And then look at the players they have around them. If they can get a little bit out of Tobias Harris, you have Danny Green, you have Seth Curry, you have Drummond who's coming in as a backup and you give them a 1% chance of winning the East? Right now, they are a half-game back from being in the third spot without Ben Simmons. They were number one with Ben Simmons, which means they still could be number one. I love the way this team is constructed right now."

Guys like Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, and even Matisse Thybulle have done an amazing job stepping up this season and their play is no doubt a huge part of the Sixers' surprising success.

Mostly, though, it is Joel Embiid who ultimately deserves the most credit. As an MVP candidate this season, he's averaging 29.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game on 49% shooting.

As long as he keeps playing like that, the 76ers have a chance against any team in the league. We'll just have to wait and see for ourselves how their season ends.