'You dream about those moments': Philadelphia 76ers arrive in NBA Playoffs with a bang – PennLive.com

PHILADELPHIA — Last year, the Philadelphia 76ers made a bold statement when they unveiled their new slogan for the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season.

“Welcome to the moment,” the Sixers declared.

The team’s official Twitter account posted that message for the first time late in the evening on June 22. Earlier that night, the Sixers had completed a trade with the Boston Celtics to get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and selected Markelle Fultz.

Welcome to the moment. #PH1LA pic.twitter.com/5ynfWp9c0w

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 23, 2017

Finally, it seemed like the Sixers had arrived. There were two top selections on the roster, a transcendent talent in center Joel Embiid, some nice complementary pieces and enough flexibility to add veterans like JJ Redick. The Sixers seemed on the precipice of returning to NBA relevancy after five sometimes painful seasons of rebuilding and retooling.

On Saturday night in South Philly, the Sixers hosted the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Philadelphia entered the postseason after winning 52 games — the most since their 2000-01 NBA Finals team led by Allen Iverson — and clinching the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers boast candidates for NBA Coach of the Year (Brett Brown), Rookie of the Year (Ben Simmons) and Defensive Player of the Year (Embiid). The conference’s landscape gives them a chance to make a run.

And on Saturday night, the Sixers arrived. They pulled away from the Heat for a resounding 130-103 victory. In the year since the team announced its slogan, there have been plenty of twists and turns. But there’s also been a steady build toward where things are right now. The Sixers are having a moment.


The scene in the parking lots surrounding Wells Fargo Center early Saturday

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