After a thrilling All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, the Sixers now turn their attention to the remaining season.
The Sixers entered the break finishing their toughest stretch of the 2018-19 NBA season. The team managed to go a solid 7-5 during a hard 12-game stretch.
The Sixers will start off the second half of the season on an additional tough stretch of five games; featuring the likes of the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors.
After this stretch, things will get easier for the team, as 11 of the 19 remaining games will be against sub .500 teams. Disregarding a few tough games, it looks like the Sixers will be able to coast into the playoffs and earn some rest time for their star core of players.
The team will have its fair share of competitive games though; featuring two games against the Milwaukee Bucks and a game against the Boston Celtics. These are important games as they are possible previews of a future playoff series.
An overall look at the Sixers’ record:
Obviously record will become more and more important for this team as time progresses. There’s a very good chance that losing an easy game can be the difference between playing the Boston Celtics or Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
The team currently sits at 37-21 which puts them at the five seed in the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are currently above them.
I would expect the Sixers to move up in the standings. The Boston Celtics have a much more challenging schedule ahead compared to the Sixers, and there’s a good chance the Indiana Pacers will start to slide as they are without their star, Victor Oladipo.
The top 2 seeds are a different story and are basically set in stone. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors will almost certainly finish 1 and 2 respectively.
There are many NBA websites you can use to see their record predicted through coding and mathematics, but for this, we will use FiveThirtyEight. This website has the Sixers finishing 54-28, which is good enough for third in the Eastern Conference.
If everything held up in their mock simulation, the Sixers would take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
While Spencer Dinwiddie plays like an MVP against the Sixers, this would be a great situation for the team heading into the playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets have been a surprise to the NBA, but they aren’t near the level of the Boston Celtics or Indiana Pacers. The Philadelphia 76ers could probably take the series in 5-6 games, with little trouble.
Going forward, the team will really need to value every game going into the postseason. They can’t afford to drop easy games (such as the two losses at home against the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers).
The real question will be answered in the next few weeks: Can the Sixers finish with the same magic that won them the 3rd seed last season?