Coming into the season, the Sixers were picked by some to finally break back into the elite class of the Eastern Conference. Getting to the top of that mountain has been a rocky ride and there is still a long way to go.
Back on January 3, the team scuffled to a 13-20 record after losing a nail-biter to the San Antonio Spurs at the buzzer. Since than, the team has won nine out of eleven games getting back to the .500 mark in stunning fashion.
The latest victory was a thriller Wednesday night in Houston when the team rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Rockets 95-93.
The Sixers hope to continue their journey to the top with two winnable games against New Jersey and Washington on the horizon.
Since taking over for Maurice Cheeks in mid-December, interim coach Tony DiLeo has posted a 13-8 record. His toughest task is to figure out how to fit power forward Elton Brand into the team’s fast-breaking offense.
Brand has certainly been a big part of this rollercoaster ride for the Sixers. He has looked really good at times, but has not yet lived up to the huge contract the team signed him to in the off-season.
Getting Brand back as a difference maker could put an end to this ride and solidify the Sixers as one of the better teams in the conference.
Brand's impact has yet to felt in the first half of the season and remains a huge question mark, but plenty of games remain to be played for Brand to step it up.
When talking about a rocky ride, forward Andre Iguodala fits that definition. Iguodala only scored 20 or more points in three of the first 26 games of the season -- since he has broken 20 in 12 of 17 games.
Iggy looked unstoppable at times when he stepped up his game after Brand missed time due to injury. Iguodala has showed in spurts that he could play like a superstar but he has yet to do it over a long period of time.
One of the most consistent contributors for the Sixers is forward Thaddeus Young. He seems to rarely play a bad game, yet his stats on paper don't overly impress.
It goes beyond the stat sheet for Young.
He was named to the nine-man sophomore team for the All Star weekend Rookie Game.
"[Young] works hard, he wants to be great. This is a first step for him. He'll have bigger and brighter things in the future," said DiLeo.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Sixers have 38 games left in the season, where will this roller coaster take them? We will have to stay tuned.
At least it will be an entertaining ride.