By JERRY TAPP
First, the Eagles gave Philadelphia their first Super Bowl in February.
Then Villanova a few weeks later did the city proud with its second men’s NCAA Division I basketball title in three years.
Is it possible the City of Brotherly Love has another championship on the horizon?
Whether or not the young Philadelphia 76ers squad makes a serious run at the NBA title this season, one thing is for sure: They have done something this year that has never happened before in the NBA.
Back during the 2015-16 season, the Sixers won only 10 games. In 2016-17, they increased that total to 28. With two games remaining this season, the Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid led 76ers are 50-30, their first 50-win season since 2000-01. That turnaround from 10 wins two seasons ago to 50 (or more) wins this year is historic.
The 76ers are the first team in NBA history to win less than 20 games one season and then win 50 or more just two seasons later. Four teams went from under 20 wins to 50+ wins in three seasons while six teams went from less than 20 wins to 50+ in four years.
Following are the 11 NBA teams that went from fewer than 20 wins in a season to 50 or more wins in a season in less than five years.
(Note: This stat does not include the 1998-99 NBA season when the season was shortened to 50 games due to a lockout that delayed the start of that campaign.)
From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in two seasons
Philadelphia 76ers: 10 wins in 2015-16; 50 wins in 2017-18
From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in three seasons
Houston Rockets: 14 wins in 1982-83; 51 wins in 1985-86
Cleveland Cavs: 17 wins in 2002-03; 50 wins in 2005-06
New Orleans Hornets: 18 wins in 2004-05; 56 wins in 2007-08
Miami Heat: 15 wins in 2007-08; 58 wins in 2010-11
From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in four seasons
Minneapolis/L.A. Lakers: 19 wins in 1957-58; 54 wins in 1961-62
Cincinnati Royals: 19 wins in 1959-60; 55 wins in 1963-64
Philadelphia 76ers: 9 wins in 1972-73; 50 wins in 1976-77
Orlando Magic: 18 wins in 1989-90; 50 wins in 1993-94
L.A. Clippers: 19 wins in 2008-09; 56 wins in 2012-13
Cleveland Cavs: 19 wins in 2010-11; 53 wins in 2014-15
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