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It has been nine years since the Philadelphia 76ers have won a playoff series.  It was so long ago, that LeBron James was still a high schooler, Larry Brown was still coaching the Sixers (resigning after their loss to the Pistons), and the Eagles were coming off their 2nd straight NFC Championship loss.

Lou WilliamsSince then we have seen Larry Brown coach three different teams, the Eagles rise and fall, the Flyers lose to Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Phillies win one World Series.

Friday night the 76ers finally won a series with their dramatic 78-77 victory over the Bulls, which could have gone either way in the last few seconds. Andre Iguodala has been maligned for much of his career for not being a clutch player, but he came up huge in the waning moments for the 76ers.

While the Sixers have benefited from the Bulls' losses of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, you have to admire their passion. Their talent level is mediocre, but their heart and passion are incredible. With the Flyers' debacle against the Devils and the Phillies looking like a team on the downswing, the Sixers have our attention once again.

Doug Collins had gone 23 years without a playoff series victory to his credit. Now he has finally gotten that monkey off his back.

Back to reality though; the 76ers are going to face a brutal defensive matchup in round two against the Celtics. Sure, they caught a break by not having to face Miami, but they will be lucky to score 75-80 a game against a stout Celtics defense which ranked 2nd in the NBA in points allowed. Chicago was #1 and the 76ers were #3 overall.

Until then, the 76ers need to enjoy this victory. They have Philadelphia's full attention now.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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