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O’Quinn hopeful season will come back

The NBA wants to salvage this season. So does Kyle O’Quinn.

The 76ers reserve center made that evident in his first-person article in The Players’ Tribune. He has a valid reason to feel that way. The 29-year-old wants to see if the Sixers will live up to their preseason hype.

“Were we forming a championship team, or would we have fallen short?” O’Quinn wrote. “That’s the biggest cliff-hanger for me if the season doesn’t come back – and there’s a chance I’ll never know. It felt like we had really turned a corner and getting everybody back healthy. Damn.

“Maybe it’s better not to think about it. But I have to think about it, because that was our goal in the preseason, right?”

The NBA suspended league play shortly after the Sixers defeated the Detroit Pistons on March 11.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced the next day the suspension would last for at least 30 days. However, the NBA may not resume play until June at the earliest.

The Sixers were a preseason favorite to win the NBA title. However, they have a 39-26 record and are in a disappointing sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

“I have hope that the season will come back,” O’Quinn said. “I just hope that we come back, whatever system they come back with – format, game, tournament, whatever they decide to do – is beneficial to everybody.

“It can’t be one-sided, where if you crown a champion this year, in years to come people say, ‘Aah, that really wasn’t a championship. '”

Sixers' Josh Richardson (pictured) and Joel Embiid returned from injuries on March 11 against the Detroit Pistons.
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Sixers' Josh Richardson (pictured) and Joel Embiid returned from injuries on March 11 against the Detroit Pistons.

Starting Five

Don’t mess with Harris’ imagination

That’s right, Tobias Harris, keep pretending the season is rolling along.

The Sixers forward is acting like the season is going on as planned in Instagram posts. And based on his posts, Philly is playing well. His first post of his imaginary season continued Thursday night when the Sixers were scheduled to face the Charlotte Hornets on the road. Harris congratulated Joel Embiid for leading Philly to the victory. Then on Saturday, when the Sixers were scheduled to host the Atlanta Hawks, he congratulated rookie Matisse Thybulle for having a career night in a "W". Harris mentioned the next game is Tuesday. That’s when they were scheduled to face the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

Tobias Harris is having fun on Instagram on scheduled game nights.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Tobias Harris is having fun on Instagram on scheduled game nights.

Passing the Rock

Send questions by e-mail (kpompey@Inquirer.com) or on Twitter (@PompeyOnSixers)

Question: If the playoffs start, do you see Al Horford starting at PF? I don’t think he’ll get much PT as the backup center — @braydenostan on Twitter

Answer: What’s up, Bray? Thanks for the question. I think a lot of that will depend on if Ben Simmons comes back. I believe Horford will remain the starting power forward if Simmons doesn’t return. It will get tricky if Simmons return even though Horford had been playing well when the season was halted. The problem is the spacing with Simmons, Embiid, and Horford will be horrible due to Simmons’ lack of attempting perimeter shots.

As a result, the Sixers would be better suited starting Shake Milton and bringing Horford off the bench. Simmons would play more of a point forward in that starting lineup. Horford would be the sixth man.

Sixers' Al Horford has been solid before the league suspended the season.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Sixers' Al Horford has been solid before the league suspended the season.