The Philadelphia 76ers officially know where they stand in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. After picking up their 48th win of the 72-game season on Friday night, the Sixers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time in 20 years.
Had the 2020-2021 NBA season been a normal one, the Sixers would know they are bound to face the Indiana Pacers or the Charlotte Hornets, who are battling it out for the eighth seed right now.
However, the NBA's fairly new Play-In tournament makes it so that the top-seeded Sixers remain unaware of their first-round opponent until they see the results of the multi-game tournament at the end of next week.
You might think the Sixers have some sort of preference for who they want to play in two weeks, but the veteran All-Star guard Ben Simmons made it clear that his team is ready for whoever when the postseason begins.
"I don't care who we play," Simmons said on Friday night. "That's the point of having the number one seed. You feel like you're the best team in the conference, so you're supposed to be able to play anybody. If we were scared, we shouldn't be in this position."
Regardless of being in the unknown about who their first-round playoff opponent will be, Simmons and the Sixers are in the best position moving forward.
Not only does the road to the NBA Finals go through Philadelphia for Eastern Conference teams as long as the 76ers remain alive, but Philly will get the East's weakest opponent in terms of record when all eight seeds are final.
Considering they've gone 11-1 against the four teams in the Play-In tournament this season, Simmons has every right to say he doesn't fear Philly's first-round matchup in the slightest.