PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 23: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Wells Fargo Center on February 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

by John Kincade

The 76ers “Signature Win” in Milwaukee

Saturday night was an important victory to stem the tide of negativity that has surrounded the 76ers periodically over the past month. It seems like they were in a constant state of making us believers or doubters in a matter of days. The inconsistency of performance creates huge questions about whether this team will be able to make a post season run. Winning a first round series won’t move the needle at all. Winning a second round series is paramount. Right now that would mean a face off with the Boston Celtics. The 76ers are firmly encased in the 3 seed. They are 3,5 games behind Boston for home court in the 2nd round and 2.5 games up on The Cavaliers with 3 games in hand.

I want to be a believer, but without consistency it’s hard for me to imagine that they will beat Boston or Milwaukee in 4 out of 7 games. We refer to things as a “signature win” but rarely refer to them as a “signature loss”. Was the win on Saturday night more telling than the listless loss on Monday night past to Miami at home? Here’s what I believe I know. The 76ers are a better team than last year. They have a deeper roster and at this time will be entering the playoffs relatively healthy. If there was ever a time for them to deliver on expectations it’s now. A brutal schedule down the stretch will test them. If they are locked into the 3 seed, why bother breaking their backs to try and climb up and chase down the Celtics or Bucks? I’m looking forward to watching this team down the stretch and hopefully determining whether they have a true, better chance to advance.

Chuck Fletcher deserves critique, but on JVR situation it doesn’t make sense

I absolutely believe that Chuck Fletcher has not done a good job and needs to be replaced after this season. His fan base has quit on him and is fed up with the product he has put on the ice. I agree with the outrage.

That said, as the NHL Trade Deadline passed Flyers fans were outraged that he failed to make a trade of JVR with his expiring contract. I fully understand why fans wanted him gone. He isn’t going to do anything to help them make the playoffs so get what you can for him. The problem with that thinking is that you can’t force anyone to trade for him.

A seasoned NHL Executive said to me on Friday night, “what do you know was on the table for him”. This exec felt that there wasn’t a real market for his services. As he explained to me “John, you gave a car and it’s high mileage but still runs. You can’t make me buy your car”.

Fact is nobody can tell us what if anything a team was willing to pay for the contract of JVR. Let’s agree that the team needs to move on, but as the exec asked me “do you really think that Chuck Fletcher would purposely not take a deal for JVR? What could he possibly gain by that?”

It makes sense to me, unlike much of what I’ve seen Fletcher do in his tenure.