PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 15: Joel Embiid #21 and Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers speak during the first quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Wells Fargo Center on January 15, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia sports has caused us a lot of pain of late. Dating back to 2022, it has been disappointment after disappointment. First, they lost the World Series to the Astros. On that same day, the Union blew it in the MLS Cup despite having a lead in Overtime and a man advantage. Next, the Eagles lost in the Super Bowl. The Sixers followed that up with yet another 2nd round exit. Then the Phillies fell apart in the NLCS. Before finally, we had the disaster that was this past Eagles’ season. The 49ers being in the Super Bowl only makes it worse.

The point is, things have sucked. Could it be worse? Sure. We could have teams that don’t even make the playoffs. And there have been plenty of times in Philadelphia sports history that was the case for us. But in some ways that may be better. Because getting our hopes up just to get the rug pulled out from under us is almost worse than having a team that we already know is going to suck.

But dwelling on the negatives is not great for our mental health. And sometimes it is better to look on the bright side of life. And as much as all that stuff we just talked about sucks, there are things to be happy about in Philadelphia right now.

The Sixers are playing well. Until recently, the Flyers were playing well. Even with the Eagles and Phillies, there are some positives. Not everything is miserable, even if it feels like it. So for at least a moment, let’s forget about all the things that cause us pain, and focus on the positives.

Here are 7 things worth being excited about in Philadelphia right now:

  • We Have The Best Basketball Player On The Planet

    NBC Sports Philadelphia on Twitter: "JOEL EMBIID NOW HOLDS THE 76ERS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST POINTS IN A GAME (70)!Clap your hands everybody. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ pic.twitter.com/cjHKPGCjk6 / Twitter"

    JOEL EMBIID NOW HOLDS THE 76ERS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST POINTS IN A GAME (70)!Clap your hands everybody. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ pic.twitter.com/cjHKPGCjk6

    Obviously he needs to do it in the playoffs. but can we just appreciate how amazing of a player Joel Embiid is? He is on track to score over a point per minute this season. He is one of the best scorers we have ever seen. Yes better than AI. Not to mention his great defense, and his 6 assists per game. He is having an All-time type of season. That is something worth being excited about. He was already amazing, but Nick Nurse is getting him more open looks than ever. And maybe Nurse’s scheme is the key to him being this good in the playoffs too.

  • Tyrese Maxey Has Become A Star

    Speaking of greatness, Tyrese Maxey is creeping up into that category. He has pretty flawless replaced what James Harden was doing last season, just more efficiently. He has become one of the top scorers in the league, improved as a passer, and improved his defense too. To the point you could argue he is the best running mate Embiid has had yet. He is not afraid to shoot like Ben Simmons was. but also wont selfishly dribble out the clock like Harden did. He is in the sweet spot of fearless and unselfish.

  • Flyers Moving In The Right Direction

    KHL on Twitter: "Matvei Michkov's GWG lifted HC Sochi to 4-1-0 in past 5 games. pic.twitter.com/da5tgD6Y8M / Twitter"

    Matvei Michkov's GWG lifted HC Sochi to 4-1-0 in past 5 games. pic.twitter.com/da5tgD6Y8M

    The Flyers have hit a bump in the road. Cutter Gauthier forced his way out, and Carter Hart may be finished in Philly too. On top of that, they head into the All-Star break on a losing streak. Despite all of that though, there is still reason to have hope for the future. They are building things the right way. Owen Tippett has broken out, along with a few other young guys on the team. And while they may have lost Gauthier, they replaced him with Jamie Drysdale, and Matvei Michkov is still eventually on the way. Even if this season falls apart, the future for the Flyers can still be bright.

  • Eagles Offense Is Still Loaded With Talent

    NFL on Twitter: "HURTS TO BROWN. Eagles break the tie with 1:43 left!πŸ“Ί: #WASvsPHI on FOXπŸ“±: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/Jq9JHUeqb6 pic.twitter.com/ROgsKdB2bZ / Twitter"

    HURTS TO BROWN. Eagles break the tie with 1:43 left!πŸ“Ί: #WASvsPHI on FOXπŸ“±: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/Jq9JHUeqb6 pic.twitter.com/ROgsKdB2bZ

    This season was a disaster. And the offense took a huge step back thanks in part to a uninspiring scheme. But the Eagles roster on offense is still very good. 1 year ago Jalen Hurts was arguably having a better game than Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. AJ Brown and Devonta Smith are an elite WR duo. Dallas Goedert has under achieved, but he is still a very good tight end. And even if Jason Kelce retires, the O-Line will be very good. Kellen Moore has 3 top 6 offenses with the Cowboys. His schemes, plus the Eagles talent, should at least see their offense bounce back next season.

  • Phillies Will Still Have A Starting Pitcher Advantage Over Nearly Any Team

    MLB on Twitter: "Zack Wheeler brought the heat in the 1st striking out the side! #Postseason πŸ”₯ pic.twitter.com/zBwQvEewLO / Twitter"

    Zack Wheeler brought the heat in the 1st striking out the side! #Postseason πŸ”₯ pic.twitter.com/zBwQvEewLO

    The Phillies have not gotten the job done these past two seasons. They came up short in the World Series, and then in the NLCS. A lot of that is because their bats have gone cold. ButΒ  the reason they have been in that position two years in a row, is their starting pitching. Their staff had an ERA of 2.20 last season. They next best team’s ERA is 2.8. It was a solid 3.24 the year before, the 4th best. It will be Wheeler, Nola, and Suarez once again. Wheeler and Suarez in particular have been lights out come playoff time. And while they have not added anything, neither has any other NL team besides the Dodgers. They will once again have one of the best post-season rotations in baseball. And that alone is enough for them to win any series.

  • Bryce Harper Is Still Great

    The rotation has been reliable in the playoffs. The bats, not so much. When the Phillies bats are hot, they are as hot as they get. But they went ice cold in the 2022 World Series, and ice cold in the 2023 NLCS. But with that said, that stats do not lie about what Bryce Harper has done. In the history of the MLB, only 8 players have a better playoff OPS than Harper (.996). Only 15 have more career HRs than him in the postseason (16). One of them is Kyle Schwarber. If he hits 4 more, he will be tied for 4th. Harper is a special player. And Like Joel Embiid, it is always worth being excited about watching him play. And he could be in store for another MVP caliber season.

  • Nick Nurse May Be The Key To Playoff Success

    I will just let Daryl Morey explain the difference Nick Nurse is making for the team. In particular with Joel Embiid.

    β€œHe has always been a defensive innovator. So I knew that would come. He has utilized Joel in different ways. But is really on offense where I thought they clicked. In the off-season, Nurse said we need to prep you for the playoffs. We need to make you hard to guard in the playoffs. And that means being less predictable. So we need to spend all of this season working on different actions, so when we get to those games in April, May, and June, you’ll be ready to make any defense pay depending on what look they throw at you.”

    Having a coach who actually draws up plays, and works to get Embiid easy looks, just might be the key for the Sixers breaking the 2nd round curse.

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