Larry O'Brien trophy: Size, value, history and previous winners - Franchise SportsThe Sixers exit the all-star break with the 3rd best record in the east and the 4th best record overall in the National Basketball Association. Most casual fans would look at those stats and say the Sixers have a decent chance of hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time since 1983. Hence would be considered contenders. Yet, there is a stat that makes the Sixer’s next two games way more important than you might believe. With a record of 38-19, the Sixers are right on the cusp of the 40-20 rule theorized by the Zen Master Phil Jackson. If you don’t know who that is, he won 11 championships and was the HC of the Bulls during their six titles in eight years, and was the HC for the Lakers, winning five titles with the purple and gold. He claims a team must win 40 games before its 20th loss to be considered a contender to win the NBA title. While this sounds crazy, with the amount of fluidity in the NBA of stars and load management, the last team not to follow this trend is the 2004 Pistons. That would mean the only teams that can win a title in the Zen Master’s eyes are the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics unless the Sixers can win both games this week, The Grizzlies Thursday and Celtics on Saturday.So crazy enough, these two games are considered must-win if you believe in this stat. By the end of the week, we will know if the Sixers are title contenders or if we should set our eyes on Phillies and opening day.

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