Another Sixers Season Ends.
This Time Because of Lancaster Ave.

PHOTO: Wiki Commons

If you are looking to turn around your NBA franchise after an extended period of subpar play, look no further than one of the country’s best national college basketball programs.

The Villanova Wildcats, who won National Championships in 2016 and 2018 — as well as a Final Four appearance in 2009.

For nearly seven years before Tom Thibodeau took over as coach in 2020, the New York Knicks were operating at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

Then, something happened during their rebuild.

When Donte DiVincenzo joined the Knicks in 2023 and brought with him two National Championships at Villanova, the New York roster was complete with Josh Hart, Scottie Reynolds, and Ryan Archidiacono, all of whom played under Jay Wright at Villanova.

Archidiacono and DiVincenzo had been national champions.

So, what factors led to the Sixers’ loss to the Knicks?


A New Leader

Much to the disappointment of hungry Sixers fans, Philadelphia did not replace embattled Head Coach Doc Rivers in 2023 with the trademark custom suit collection of Jay Wright confidently marching up and down the sideline. Instead, they hired Nick Nurse.

A Winning Tradition

The second half of the Jay Wright Era was the best in Villanova history. Hart, Reynolds, Archiadicono, and DiVincenzo were all part of that legacy of excellence.

They’ve Proven That It’s Possible in Both the NCAA and the NBA

We already know how successful this group has been in college. As a part of the New York, they have made the Knicks into a contender as the #2 seed from the East in the Playoffs. Now, they are off to the next round of the NBA Playoffs.

An Offensive Onslaught 

The Knicks scored 650 points in this series compared to the Sixers’ 649. Jalen Brunson had four straight games, scoring at least 39 points.

DiVincenzo scored 23 points in Game 6 against the Sixers, including 5 for 9 from three-point land. Josh Hart had 20 points in Game 3, 18 points in Game 5, and 16 points in Game 6.

The Mikal Bridges Debacle

Who could forget this one? (I actually forgot about it.) Bridges was actually drafted by the Sixers in the NBA Draft back in 2018 and was traded to the Suns immediately in return for draft rights to Zhaire Smith, as well as a first-round pick in 2021.

All because his mom worked for the team?

This year, it wasn’t Ben Simmons unnecessarily passing on a dunk opportunity, an unfortunate Joel Embiid injury, or a Boston Celtics Game 7 onslaught.
It was the impressive legacy of Jay Wright and the basketball excellence of Lancaster Ave.


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