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With the Phils’ magic run over, pressure in the city will rise for the middling Sixers

After a 10-game grace period, the microscope is about to get bigger.

San Antonio Spurs v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

I’ll be honest, it’s been hard for me to get all too riled up about the Sixers’ poor start to the season so far.

The Eagles are in the midst of the greatest start in franchise history — 8-0 — and the Phillies just spent a month on a miracle run to the World Series that felt like it could only end one way, until it didn’t, on Saturday night.

For weeks, I was far more swept up in the well-being of Connor Brogdon’s changeup than James Harden’s stepback. What a sentence to type, and mean. It truly felt as if the 2022 Phils were the Team of Destiny (shoutout Sixers Adam) and, hell, maybe they were. Maybe the juju just ran out a weekend too early. But it did, and somehow, we’re all left devastated that this years Philadelphia baseball team simply won the NL pennant. Unreal.

Anyway, now we pivot to the remaining teams in South Philly. The Eagles have shown no signs of slowing down and are set to face off against the Washington Dan Snyders on Monday Night Football next week.

But the Eagles — by law — only play once a week. So the comfy air-cover provided by the local ball-club in the Fall Classic is now gone, so now throughout the week, many eyeballs will now turn to our 10, 9, 8, 76ers.

Oh, yeah, things haven’t been going great!

Harden is gone ‘till December with a foot problem. Joel Embiid has missed a handful of games with the flu, and the team is showing up to play defense with about the same level of intensity as Cole’s family in this season of Love is Blind (they don’t show up at all). Meanwhile, Doc Rivers is still doing his version of coaching, rubbing his forehead, yelling at Paul Reed for stealing the basketball too much, and incurring the rancor of the Sixers diehards who have bestowed their attention on the team during the team’s 4-6 open.

Well the team’s grace period has ended, the sample size is growing, it’s about time to become the team that you actually are, Sixers. Embiid is just about set to return, which is good news. Fans in the city are itching for a coaching change, but wins would stave off any such move. Without Harden, it will be on Joel, burgeoning star Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris (still on the team!) and the rest of the guys, to show that the Sixers can hold down the fort, climb the early-season standings and stake their claim as being the contender everyone thought they were heading into the season.

One thing is for sure: the days of the Sixers’ ugly early-season losses flying totally under the Philadelphia sports-scene radar are over. There are only two games left in town, and the Birds only fly once a week. If the Sixers continue to stumble, things could heat up in a hurry.

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