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Odds & Ends: Sixers, Cavaliers

With a 17-7 record more than a third through the season, the Philadelphia 76ers have been a pleasant surprise under coach Doug Collins. Even with a 20-point loss at home to the Miami Heat on Friday night, the 76ers are atop the Atlantic Division and would be a 3 seed in the Eastern Conference if the season ended today. The Cleveland Cavaliers have also exceeded expectations as the team is nearly halfway to matching its win total from last season. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, both of these teams face important decisions on how to shape their rosters moving forward.

  • John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that the 76ers have a strong core of players under the age of 23 but wonders if a move must be made to ensure the squad's first division title since 2001. Mitchell lauds Collins for outperforming every other coach in the league as he has gotten more out of the team's talent than anyone thought possible. Collins credits some of his team's success to the fans as the Wells Fargo Center has recently enjoyed a string of sellouts. 
  • Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant will be facing a series of tough decisions as the trade deadline approaches, writes Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. One of the decisions includes figuring out how Anderson Varejao, 29, fits into the team's long-term plans. If traded, Varejao could net the Cavaliers as many as two future first-round draft picks which would allow the team to continue to stockpile young talent.

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