76ers Playoff Seeding, Pacers Preview, and Embiid’s quest for the NBA Scoring Title
Disclaimer: Playoff seeding doesn’t matter. If the team you root for wants to be considered a championship contender, then you have to be able to get out of the first round regardless of the matchup.
That being said, the Philadelphia 76ers can benefit from winning the last two games of the season at home, starting with today’s 1PM matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
The Sixers will be able to clinch the third seed in the East if they win their next two games and the Celtics lose to the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night in their regular season finale.
Right now, the Sixers sit in fourth place and will likely stay there when the regular season ends. They lose tie breakers to the Bucks (season series), Celtics (division record) and Raptors (season series) already, so without two wins and a Celtics loss, they won’t be able to move up.
Given the fact their next two games are against the Pacers and Pistons at home, I don’t see them losing and falling down to the fifth seed either.
If the Celtics lose and the 76ers are able to win out and slide into the third seed, playing the Chicago Bulls, a team that Joel Embiid owns and the Sixers swept during the regular season would be more ideal than having to play the Raptors.
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76ers vs Pacers
- 76ers: -13.5 (-110) | -1100 ML
- Pacers: +13.5 (-110) | +700 ML
- Total: O/U 235.5 (-110)
The 76ers got off to a hot start on the road last week when they were in Indianapolis to play the Pacers. Joel Embiid was simply unstoppable in the first half, scoring 27 points with seven rebounds, while shooting 12-18 from the floor and 1-2 from three point range.
The entire 76ers team shot lights out from the floor, making a franchise-record 23 three pointers on their way to 131-122 victory over the Pacers. Tyrese Maxey went 8-for-11 from three point range, scoring 30 points in the game while adding seven assists and shooting nearly 73% from the floor.
In classic Sixers fashion, they allowed this game to be much closer than it should have been, getting outscoring 40-25 in the third quarter. For once, I would like to see the Sixers throw the hammer down and just completely destroy the opposing team but given the fact we have just two games left against non-playoff teams, I bet the Doc Rivers and company opt to play it safe and we’ll see the Pacers go on a few runs today to keep this game closer than anyone would like.
Pretty bad game to bet on, but it’s not like that has stopped me in the past.
Embiid Scoring Title
- Joel Embiid: 30.42 ppg (2,038 points over 67 games played)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: 29.88 ppg (2,002 points over 67 games played)
- LeBron James: 29.22 ppg (1,695 points over 58 minimum games requirement)
Lebron James is out the rest of the regular season dealing with an ankle injury, so he’s basically out of the running to be crowned the NBA Scoring Champion. That leaves us with Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the two players left with a few games left on the schedule.
Giannis played last night, but failed yet again to make up any ground on Joel Embiid. He finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in Milwaukee’s 131-101 win over Detroit, right on his season average of at 29.88 points per game.
The Bucks and Antetokounmpo have one game remaining (Sunday at Cleveland), while Embiid and the 76ers have two games to play (Saturday vs. Indiana, Sunday vs. Detroit).
We are coming in for a landing on crowning Joel Embiid the 2021-22 NBA Scoring Champion.
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