Playoff Jimmy has arrived! Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat just knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks as the eighth seed. This is just the fifth time in NBA history that an eighth seed has defeated the one seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Game-Time Sharks Philadelphia will explain why this accomplishment is huge for the Philadelphia 76ers, and their chances to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Current Odds to Win the NBA Championship
All odds presented courtesy of BetMGM
Before the start of the NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks were the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and were the favorites to win the NBA Championship with odds close to +275. Now that the Bucks have been eliminated, the odds for teams such as the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Phoenix Suns have all jumped significantly.
Boston Celtics: +160
Phoenix Suns: +400
Philadelphia 76ers: +600
Golden State Warriors: +650
Denver Nuggets: +800
Los Angeles Lakers: +1,100
New York Knicks: +2,000
Miami Heat: +2,500
Memphis Grizzlies: +6,600
our weekend was great. hbu? 😏
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 24, 2023
Breaking down the Sixers Playoffs Trajectory
The Philadelphia 76ers currently have the third-best odds to win the championship at +600. However, the Sixers will face the favorite to win the title in the Boston Celtics in round two after the victory against Atlanta last night.
Thanks to Atlanta stretching the series to at least six games, the Sixers do not have to play again until Monday, May 1st. This gives Sixers star Joel Embiid a couple of extra days’ rest before the start of the semi-finals.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Joel Embiid has suffered a sprained LCL in his right knee. The injury occurred in game 3 of the series against the Brooklyn Nets and caused Embiid to be sidelined for the final game of the series. Since the injury occurred on April 20th, Joel Embiid will have 11 days to return to form before being asked to take the court again.
Sixers vs Celtics: What to expect
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All signs point toward the Sixers not making a deep playoff run. The Sixers had a regular season record of 1-3 against their round-two matchup with the Boston Celtics. In that lone regular season win, Joel Embiid scored 52 of the Sixers’ 103 points. Now, Embiid is in danger of missing the start of the series, and may not be 100% when he does return. It has also been rumored that he will be wearing a brace on that right knee, which may restrict his ability to perform at that high level we are so used to seeing.
So why do the Sixers have the third-highest chance to win the championship?
This is because if the 76ers make it past the second round, they will be the favorite to win the East. The Sixers would play the winner of the Knicks and Heat in the Eastern Conference Championship, and would undoubtedly be the favorite to win the series against either of those squads. Nothing against the Heat or the Knicks as they have been playing exceptional basketball. It is just that these teams are struggling with the injury bug as well.
A lot of firepower remains in the Western Conference with the Suns, Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers, and Grizzlies still battling it out. The East on the other hand does not look as strong. The Knicks, Sixers, and Celtics have an easier path to the finals thanks to Jimmy Buckets and the Heat knocking out the one seed.
Predicting the Sixers Playoffs Run From Here
The Sixers fall short in the playoffs just about every year due to an injury that limits Joel Embiid. This year has the looks of the same outcome. But, if Joel Embiid’s injury is not as serious as it may seem, and he comes out looking like the MVP of the league, watch out. I anticipate a phenomenal series between the 76ers and the Celtics, like always. An exciting and hard-fought 7-game series between the Sixers and Celtics could be unfolding before us and I am all for it. I am by no means saying the 76ers are going to win the NBA Championship, but if they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the odds will be either in their favor or very even the rest of the way.