NBA betting: In the futures market, the surging 76ers represent excellent values.

NBA betting: In the futures market, the surging…..

Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers had the third-best record in the NBA with 54 wins and the third-best scoring differential at +4.3 points per game.

They battled with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics for the top of the Eastern Conference, and their regular-season success led to individual award success for Joel Embiid as the NBA MVP.

This offseason, their other former MVP,James Harden, made it clear he wanted to be traded.

Harden was dealt for a package that did not include another All-Star-caliber player in return, leading many to fear that the 76ers would not have the high-end talent to continue to contend at the same level

Instead, more than a month into the season, the 76ers are again competing with the Bucks and Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference, with a +7.8 scoring differential that is third best in the NBA.

How have they been able to maintain their competitive level? And what does their level mean for the 76ers in the NBA futures market? Let’s dig in.New direction at the top

The trade of Harden was not the only change the 76ers made at the top. In fact, they made an even higher move, firing Doc Rivers and bringing in Nick Nurse to replace him as head coach.

Nurse has different approaches on both offense and defense that take advantage of the team’s strengths in different ways while decentralizing the 76ers’ attack. And the primary change, of course, starts with the big MVP in the middle, Embiid.

Rivers liked to run the offense from the center out, getting Embiid deep on the block and collapsing opposing defenses to the middle. This allowed Embiid to dominate the interior, particularly in the regular season, and earn that MVP.

But the downside to that approach is that teams with strong interior defenders — such as last season’s Celtics or the 2022 Heat — could collapse onto Embiid, take advantage of times when he wasn’t at full speed in the playoffs, and either force him into difficult reads or force the rest of the 76ers’ offense to beat them.

That often put the onus for the 76ers’ success more on Harden than Embiid, with unsatisfying team results.


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