By Joseph Santoliquito


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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 76ers have a problem. Actually, they have three: The Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.

Against those three teams, the Sixers are a collective 1-7.

The way the Sixers are currently constructed, they would appear to have a team that could beat anyone. But it didn’t bode well that the Sixers lost to Boston for the third time, a 112-109 setback on Feb. 12.

Joel Embiid can’t seem to get the better of Celtics center Al Horford, who keeps his feet when Embiid attempts his pump fakes. The Celtics do a better job of dictating the pace, which is slowing the game down, and that limits Ben Simmons, who’s most effective in transition.

Things could still be rectified.

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The 76ers have 23 games left. They face Milwaukee twice and Indiana once, two of the three teams that sit above the Sixers in the Eastern Conference.

They also have another date on March 20 with the Celtics, who, regrettably, the Sixers would have to face in the first round of the playoffs if the season ended today.

More will be found out about the Sixers next week, at Oklahoma City on Thursday and hosting the defending NBA champ Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

The 76ers need to find some answers against the NBA’s better teams. Right now, they’ve proven that they can beat average teams. Right now, Embiid, Simmons and Sixers’ coach Brett Brown need to prove that they can be effective against Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ schemes.

The Sixers 1-7 against three of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

There is plenty of time to change that.

Joseph Santoliquito