With 12 games remaining, the Sixers can easily make up ground on the Nets for the one seed in the East
The Sixers have 12 games left in the regular season. Currently riding a four game losing streak, they are now in second place in the Eastern Conference standings at 39-21. They have fallen 1.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets in first place and currently hold a two game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, who are in third place with a 37-23 record.
The final 12 games of the season for the 76ers are definitely favorable and the very important first seed in the Eastern Conference is still up for grabs. If the Sixers can finish the season strong and take the number one seed in the playoffs, they will be able to avoid the Nets and/or Bucks until the Eastern Conference Finals if they are able to handle business in the earlier rounds.
Although there is a ton of concern around the Sixers and final standings heading into the playoffs, one thing is for certain: When healthy, the Sixers are one of the best teams in the NBA and no matter where they finish and they should not be concerned with their opponents, no matter who they might be. Good teams aren’t worried about the bottom feeders in the 7th or 8th seed of the playoffs. The Sixers need to come out and do what they are supposed to do in beating inferior teams, which starts tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Atop of the Eastern Conference, the Nets do not have an easy schedule to close out the season. Brooklyn will have to play the Portland Trailblazers, the Milwaukee Bucks twice, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Denver Nuggets starting Friday. The Sixers can easily make up ground in the standings and likely pass the Nets heading into the final eight games of the season if they can manage to beat teams below them over the next week.
That of course, will depend on the health of the Sixers. Ben Simmons has been out for the last four games and no one seems to know exactly why. He’s currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game. Tobias Harris has been battling a knee injury, Joel Embiid as well. Seth Curry is always hurt and listed as questionable for tonight’s game too. We know how good this team can be and how important it is to enter the playoffs with a healthy starting lineup. It will be interesting to watch how Doc Rivers manages his players down the stretch with first place in the Eastern Conference on the line.
One question still remains: Does it really matter where the Sixers finish? Sure, you could avoid the Nets and Bucks but eventually, you’re going to have to play one of those teams in the Eastern Conference finals regardless. I don’t see why the Sixers should be concerned about any playoff team in the East. If you’re a good basketball team, you beat good competition. It’s really that simple.
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