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The Philadelphia 76ers are getting set to begin a playoff journey on Sunday that they hope will end with them hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy and partying down Broad Street. In order to do that, they will lean on some veterans on the roster to help the team push through.
The team made big additions in the form of Danny Green and Dwight Howard who are proven veterans with tons of playoff experience and they each have championship rings. Green has three rings with three different organizations and Howard guided the Orlando Magic to the Finals in 2009 and he won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
As the playoffs get set to begin, younger Sixers such as Furkan Korkmaz for example will be leaning on those guys to help them in the postseason.
“He’s talking to all of us like he’s been in the playoffs for years,” Korkmaz first said of Green. “I think the most important thing about Danny, and it’s not a coincidence that he got the championship, he puts the team first. He’s not putting himself in first position. It doesn’t matter if he makes two 3s or five 3s in the same game. If we win, he’s really happy in the locker room.”
Howard has proven to be a very good backup big man to Joel Embiid as he has allowed the big fella to get the proper rest he needs for the postseason and Howard has still been productive. On top of his play on the floor, Howard has been helpful for Korkmaz and the other youngsters.
“Dwight is a really good guy,” Korkmaz stated. “From the beginning of the season, first when I met with him, I was really impressed because, like Dwight Howard, sometimes big star or superstars, you’re a little bit afraid. What kind of character they have? It takes a lot of time to figure that out, but I think Dwight was perfect for us.”
The youngsters have been playing well all season. Korkmaz has had his moments out on the floor as has guys like Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey who will all have a role in the playoffs. Green will be in their ear to provide guidance and to help them along the way.
“I’m just telling them to go out and hoop and play their game,” said Green. “Embrace the moment, enjoy it. We have the chance to have more fans coming in soon. This is their first playoff run. When they get the opportunity, come in just come in and do what you do. Do what you do best and hoop. Have fun, play like you’re playing all season.”
It is almost like an added advantage for Philadelphia. While Green and Howard are obviously productive out on the floor, they have also been through all of the wars so they are ready to give the younger guys some help when the time calls for it.
“On the court, obviously, they’ve been through it,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They understand the value of the single possession mindset in the playoffs. Off the court, just being a good voice for guys. I don’t know how valuable that ever is. I’ve never put a value on it. I just know I would rather hear from somebody that knows from somebody that doesn’t know.”
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