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Titleless: 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers make Eastern Conference Semis

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Philadelphia 76ers

In SB Nation’s quest to name the greatest NBA team to never win a title, the 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to take on the no. 1 seed 1994-95 Orlando Magic.

More from SB Nation’s Mike Prada:

The current status of the bracket

Again, here’s the link to vote on the matchups. Nearly 2,500 people have voted in the first two rounds.


(1) 1996-97 Utah Jazz vs. (5) 2017-18 Houston Rockets

(2) 2001-02 Sacramento Kings vs. (6) 1990-91 Portland Trail Blazer


(1) 1994-95 Orlando Magic vs. (5) 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers

(2) 2018-19 Milwaukee Bucks vs. (3) 2010-11 Chicago Bulls

So what happens now?

Each day, we’ll ask you to vote on the matchups using our FanPulse survey. There are five rounds and five days this week, so each day will bring a new round. We’ll update you all with the results on this page.

To prevent ballot-box stuffing by more popular fanbases or other shenanigans, we have added two checks to the system. In addition to fan voting, we will also do the following:

  • Run a simulation of a seven-game series for each matchup on The higher seed will have home-court advantage.
  • I’ll make my own picks for each matchup without looking at the survey results.

If — and ONLY if — both contradict the FanPulse vote, the result will be overturned. Otherwise, the FanPulse vote carries the day.

Prada also recapped the Sixers’ previous matchup:

(5) 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers def (4) 1992-93 New York Knicks

FANPULSE VOTE: Knicks (56.9 percent)

EXPERT PICK: 76ers in 6

SIMULATION: 76ers in 5

Another fan vote overturned!

This one, though, is more justified in my mind. I trusted Philly’s ability to hold Patrick Ewing down more than the Knicks’ ability to stop Julius Erving. The simulation agreed, with the 76ers winning the next four games after losing Game 1. The final four minutes of Game 2 are hilarious and on-brand. Philly won despite not hitting a field goal in the final four minutes.

The fan vote went New York’s way, but I attribute that to overrating teams from the 90s. The 76ers were better.

Don’t forget to sign up to vote! It’s looking like the Sixers have a chance here to make a run.

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