Stephen A. Smith's track record of predicting things is suspect to say the least.
So it's with great trepidation that Philadelphia 76ers fans should watch the below clip in which he predicts an NBA Finals appearance for Brett Brown's club this coming season.
Smith made the prediction on ESPN's First Take on Friday morning while sitting alongside NBA legend Magic Johnson (the joke about tampering with Giannis may have been the highlight of the segment).
"The Philadelphia 76ers are going to the NBA Finals," Smith declares. "I'm going to defer to my man Jalen Rose when he points out that Boston arguably has the best perimeter shooting team. We can't ignore that. Toronto lost Kawhi, ain't nothing to discuss. The Greek Freak, as phenomenal as he is, the combo of not having a reliable perimeter shot combined with Malcolm Brogdon being in Indiana..."
"My attitude is, I don't like the fact that Philly lost JJ Redick, that's a big loss to me," Smith continues. "The fact that Boston no longer has Al Horford and the Sixers do, not only somebody to pair with Embiid but to spell him whenever he's out. I'm going to believe Ben Simmons has been working on his shot. I'm going to believe Tobias Harris doesn't have to worry about co-existing with Jimmy Butler and that's a plus. I'm going to believe Josh Richardson can play at both ends of the floor..."
"I'm a little suspect on their bench, but I think the Sixers are going to be playing in June."
On the bright side for Philly fans, it's not like Smith is making some bold proclamation here. FiveThirtyEight's prediction model actually gives the Sixers the best chances of making the Finals of any team in the NBA given the East's weaker make up than the West. In fact, they give the Sixers almost twice as good a chance of doing so than the next closest Eastern contender the Bucks (54% vs. 27%).
So Stephen A. isn't going out on a limb, but it never feels great when he picks your squad in anything.
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