Remembering the Philadelphia 76ers 1983 NBA Championship

The Philadelphia 76ers were a perennial playoff team in the NBA from the mid '70s and throughout the '80s. While they only managed to win one championship during that stretch, the Sixers made a lasting impact on the sport in 1983.

In this blog post, we will take a look back at their history and discuss what made them so successful. We will also analyze how they rose to power and why the 1983 championship team is considered one of the best teams in NBA history. Finally, we'll take a glimpse at the modern day and how the Sixers faired in this year NBA playoffs.

The Philadelphia 76ers: NBA Playoff Contenders

The Sixers were formed in 1963 as a part of the NBA’s expansion into the mid-Atlantic region. They quickly became a force to be reckoned with, thanks in large part to the signing of "Dr. J" Julius Erving in 1976 who is widely considered one of the greatest players in basketball history. Erving helped lead the team to an NBA Finals appearance in his first season, losing to the Bill Walton's Portland Trailblazers. Back-to-back conference titles in the 1976-77 seasons made the Sixers an elite team but would come up short of an NBA title over the next several years despite making the conference finals and NBA finals twice.

When it comes to discussing some of the most important teams in NBA history, there are few that can rival the accomplishments and influence of the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers. A powerhouse squad led by Erving, newly acquired Moses Malone, and future Hall of Famers Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones, the Sixers used coach Billy Cunningham's strategies to dominate the entire 1983 season. Let’s take a look back at how this incredible team came to be and what made them so successful.

What made the 76ers so successful?

The Sixers unique mix of fast-paced offense and tenacious defense was the secret to their success in 1983. Cheeks, who is among the NBA's all-time players in steals, combined with the dominance of league MVP Malone and perennial high-flying all-star Erving was a combination the likes of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers could not match in their run for the title.

As a result, the Sixers won 65 regular season games (still 2nd best in franchise history) and nearly swept the playoffs with a record of 12-1. Malone even called it, telling a reporter "4, 4, 4." when asked his expectations for the playoffs (meaning the Sixers would only need 4 games in each series to win the title.) His near prediction has only been matched in recent years by the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors (16-1) and the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers (15-1) 

Indeed, if the 1983 Sixers were playing their basketball today, or if any NBA team was as dominant as they were nowadays, you could guarantee that there would be a number of people who would be looking to place a wager on them, especially now that they can in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are a host of available Penn Sports Betting Sites offering some attractive and appealing odds and markets, with some punters able to place a wager on the number of 3-pointers scored in a game. Naturally, this would have been very interesting in the day of the 80s 76ers.

Nowadays, though, sports fans can witness players like Joel Embiid strut their stuff on the basketball court as an attractive betting option, as he can provide them with an interesting number of bets to potentially win from!

But is the current Philadelphia 76ers side one that can go on and achieve success in the future?

Philadelphia eliminated by Miami

Those that have been following the current NBA playoffs will already know that the 76ers were beaten in the 2022 postseason at the Eastern Conference Semifinals stage to the Miami Heat 4-2 in their best-of-seven series.

The team had managed to level the series at 2-2 after Game 4, however, the franchise from Florida managed to take the spoils and progress to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will play the Boston Celtics for a place in the NBA Finals.

This is how the results fared for the 76ers:
  • Game 1: Heat 106-92 76ers
  • Game 2: Heat 119-103 76ers
  • Game 3: 76ers 99-79 Heat
  • Game 4: 76ers 116-108 Heat
  • Game 5: Heat 120-85 76ers
  • Game 6: 76ers 90-99 Heat
The team from Philadelphia clearly struggled to get any momentum whilst on the road in this series, whilst their defeat in Game 6 at home had been the final nail in the coffin for this season’s efforts and the quest for NBA honors.

Unfortunately for the franchise, this is something that is rather common and is far from irregular at the moment. The 76ers have not managed to make it past the second round in the playoffs since reaching the NBA Finals in 2001, having lost a total of four times in the past five years.

What’s next for the 76ers?

Of course, with their season now having come to an end, many that will be wondering what the future may hold for the iconic franchise and whether they will ever be able to repeat the kind of dominance that they were able to experience in 1983.

What we do know at the moment is that the head coach, Doc Rivers, will be returning to the team next season as Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey revealed following the defeat to Miami.

Additionally, the 76ers will be looking for a way to “unlock” James Harden after an underwhelming performance in the playoffs where he produced averages of just 18.6 points and 8.6 assists, whilst also using the offseason to try and get him and Embiid to work as well as they can together on the court.

If they can do this, perhaps the 76ers will be able to capture the glory of their first NBA championship in 40 years. However, only time will tell.

Photos courtesy Depositphotos

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