The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to make the playoffs last season and they met that target emphatically.
With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid returning to full health, the Sixers were always likely to improve and get wins on the board.
But they definitely shocked a lot of people with the campaign they had and just how good they were as they went from a mediocre outfit to one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Turn in fortunes
Philly ended the year with the number three seed and a hugely impressive record of 52-30.
In their first return to the postseason since 2012, they reached the second round where they were eventually beaten by the Boston Celtics in five games.
Despite that loss, they still exceeded expectations and veteran JJ Redick recently admitted that even he was surprised by the success they had, according to Andrew Porter of Sports Radio 94WIP.
“J.J. Redick on @PardonMyTake says that he did not expect the Sixers to be that good last year and is almost cautious in thinking about this season," Porter said.
"JJ says so much untapped potential still. He also said it “would make sense” for him to finish his career in Philly.”
Redick was one of the big reasons for their great year as he enjoyed a career-best campaign.
The 34-year-old posted 17.1 points per game and was a real threat from beyond the arc as he shot 42 percent.
He provided much-needed experience and was a perfect fit in head coach Brett Brown's system.
The veteran re-signed with Philadelphia on another one-year deal this summer and is keen to contribute to the team's growth.
With a youthful roster featuring Simmons, Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric, the sky is the limit for the 76ers.
They may have failed to land a marquee free agent this offseason but that shouldn't dampen the mood among the franchise and its fanbase.
The Sixers will be one of the contenders in the east and can take advantage of LeBron James' departure to make a serious push to reach the NBA Finals.
In terms of talent, there's no doubting what the 76ers can achieve but health is their main concern.
The rookie curse has struck again as their promising draft pick Zhaire Smith is likely to miss the majority of the campaign after breaking his foot.
But they still have a roster that can compete with the best teams in the league and we should expect to see them take another step forward next year.
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