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76ers owner Josh Harris: We have to keep up with the Eagles and Villanova

"We're assuming that we are going to have a good regular season based on the talent we have on the floor," Harris said. "So we need to get deeper in the playoffs."

Sixers owner Josh Harris said he wants nothing less than an NBA title.
Sixers owner Josh Harris said he wants nothing less than an NBA title.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

SHENZHEN, China — This season's goal is simple for Josh Harris.

"We've got to get deeper in the playoffs," Harris, the 76ers' co-managing owner, said Friday, before the NBA China preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks in Shanghai. "Obviously, I don't want to look by the regular season. But we're assuming that we are going to have a good regular season based on the talent we have on the floor. So we need to get deeper in the playoffs."

The Sixers concluded their best season since 2000-01 with a disheartening playoff series loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in May. The Celtics closed out the best-of-seven series with a 114-112 victory in Game 5 at Boston's TD Garden.

The Sixers were coming off a 52-win regular season capped by an NBA-record 16 straight victories to conclude the regular season.

"Having gone from winning 28 games [in 2016-17] to 52 games is a big turnaround," Harris said. "But we are not done. We still need to achieve our goal" of winning an NBA title.

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The Sixers are currently one of the NBA's most interesting teams, and that led to their being showcased in the league's international games. In January, they suffered an regular-season loss to the Celtics as part of NBA London.

They have been in China since Wednesday and the teams will conclude the trip with Monday's game at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center.

"It's really gratifying to be here," said Harris, who attended Friday's game. "But we are still focused on bringing that championship to Philly. We've got to keep up with the Eagles and 'Nova."

Travel issues

The Sixers will tell you they've been enjoying their time in China. Their airplane experiences have been far less fun.

The team's flight following Friday's game was delayed a couple of hours because an "unapproved item" carried by someone who is not a player was found during baggage examination. As a result, the airport security reexamined everyone's bag.

So the Sixers arrived at their hotel around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. They were scheduled to arrive at 4:27.

The team's flight from Philadelphia to Shanghai to open the trip took 21 hours, 38 minutes because of a snowstorm in Calgary. The plane had made a scheduled stop in the Canadian city to refuel, but the storm forced a three-hour delay.

The Sixers were scheduled to arrive at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. They got there at noon.

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