ESPN being bad at covering things has nothing to do with the NBA.
The Sixers being good after 13 games is not something that needs tons of coverage. If they are still like this and playing this well after 30 games, they will get lots of coverage as the surprise team of the year.
They don't even have the best record in the East, much less the best record in all the NBA. There's 5 teams with 3 or fewer losses, and another 4 that only have 4 losses. So it's not like their record is anything terribly special.
Yes, they have the best point differential, but they have also played the Wizards twice (the worst team in the NBA, and a team with only one win all year), as well as Toronto, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Detroit, all horrible teams that are among the 5 or 6 worst in the NBA. In fact, they've played 9 games against teams with losing records and have 8 of their 10 wins in those games, while only going 2-2 against teams with winning records (and no games against the other first place teams, and only 2 games against 2nd place teams with a 1-1 record in those games) so their record could easily be an illusion of a favorable early schedule and they may well fall off a cliff as they play better teams.
So basically, this is far from a travesty.