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Joel Embiid.

The three winless franchises in the east: Reason to panic?

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At the close of the first week in the new NBA season, there are six unbeaten teams in the league, many of which will come as no surprise to many.

But, there are also seven teams who are yet to register a win, and in some cases, it has come as a bit of a shock.

Below, we explore the three winless teams in the Eastern Conference, their early challenges and what it means for the rest of the 2016-17 season.

Philadelphia 76ers

Although they claim that 'The Process' is behind them - an era ushered in by former general manager Sam Hinkie, not Joel Embiid - the Sixers are currently 0-2 after falling to the Thunder and the Hawks.

After only managing 10 victories last year, nobody thought they would turn the corner as sharply as the Boston Celtics did in 2008, for example.

But, they do have hope. Embiid is playing on limited minutes, but has still managed 17 points, 4.5 rebounds and four blocks in his average of 19 minutes a game - mightily impressive.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers

Factor in the injuries to Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel and it's easy to believe that as the season goes on and when their players return, Philly will win more games than last year.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have fallen to the Grizzlies and the Hawks to currently sit at 2-0, and the signs do not look particularly good.

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the two stars on the team, but the fact they are not particularly friends is the worst kept secret in the NBA.

Past the backcourt pair, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris are the other players expected to deliver for the United States' capital franchise, and with respect to them, they aren't franchise players.

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

They won't finish bottom of the pile in the east, but the playoffs are a distant hope as well. Coach Scott Brooks needs time to get his claws in.

Orlando Magic

After trading for Serge Ibaka and giving up Victor Oladipo amongst others this summer, there was bound to be a reshuffle for the Florida-based franchise this year.

Their energetic youngsters are now coupled up with new big men Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo, and at first glance, one would think the new-found rim protection was just what they needed.

That hasn't proven to be the case thus far. After losing to the Pistons, the Heat and the NBA champions, the Cavaliers, the Magic are 0-3.

Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons

However, considering all three of them are either dead-cert playoff teams or at the very least contenders, it's not all doom and gloom at the Amway Center. Plus, the likes of Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are worth getting excited about.

Early days

It's still early days in the east, but looking at the rest of the standings, it's hard to see these franchises climbing above many others. In 12th place is the Indiana Pacers, but surely behind Paul George and several new additions, they will be playoff bound.

Then there are the Brooklyn Nets who have performed above expectations thus far. With Jeremy Lin and Bojan Bogdanovic forming a dangerous backcourt, they have shown to be no pushover with a record of 1-2.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics

Then there are questions surrounding how much progress the Milwaukee Bucks will make this season, can Hassan Whiteside lead the Heat to the playoffs and will the Knicks' new-look side stay healthy?

It's just the beginning, but is this telling evidence?

Topics:
NBA
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Orlando Magic
Southeast Division
Washington Wizards
John Wall
Allen Iverson

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