If you have elevated expectations for the Sixers this season, you are not alone.

2001 NBA MVP Allen Iverson sees a playoff appearance for his former franchise.

“Our direction, man, our future is bright, Iverson said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated. “You know what I mean? All that young talent, throw a couple veteran guys in there with them young boys, and teach ‘em the way, we gonna be fine.”

Then came the prediction.

“I see us going to the playoffs this year.”

Sixers center Joel Embiid was thinking something similar while watching free agency unfold.

Playoffs seem to be the hot-button topic for the team heading toward the season, and an appearance in the NBA’s second season for the young Sixers squad is not out of the picture. When you consider the influx of talent joining the Sixers’ roster for the upcoming campaign – Simmons, Fultz, Redick, Johnson - as well as the current [weakened] state of the Eastern Conference, there is ample potential for the team to make a playoff push.

Though in reach - and a good goal - playoffs should not be the main measuring stick for the 2017-18 season. Rather, the development of the individual players, as well as their cohesion as a unit, should be the main concern for all of those invested in the long-term success of the team (and health of course).

That the young players that will be charged with carrying the franchise forward show that they can play – and play together – at a high level, is more important than a playoff appearance this year. But, if the roster does live up to its potential, a playoff spot may come by default.

In addition to predicting the playoffs, Iverson also shared some advice he gave to Ben Simmons with Sports Illustrated.

“I only talked to Ben briefly and all I told him was, 'Man, good game, bad game, as long as you play hard these people will support you. They’ll be right on your side,’” Iverson said. “I think a lot of times, guys are talented, but if you don’t have no heart with the talent, you’re just going to be an average player. These people around here want to see you get down and dirty and get out on that floor and go after loose balls. As long as you play hard, you’re fine with these fans here.”

Solid advice from a guy who knows a thing or two about pleasing Philadelphia fans.

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