Typically, we take a look back and a look forward at ten-game intervals around here. Well, the holidays and the back-to-back delayed it by a game. Anyway, the Sixers were 6-5 over their last 11, they sit 7 games under .500 and a half game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Let's take a look at the advanced stats, POTG leader board and finally the upcoming schedule.
The first thing that jumps out at me is the steady decline on the offensive end. They're getting worse and worse there, and even with stellar defense (which we've seen quite a bit of), it's going to be an uphill struggle to win games when you're struggling to break 100 points-per-100-possessions on a semi-regular basis. They haven't had a truly good shooting night since the 21st game against Cleveland.
On a positive note, they've been able to maintain their defensive production and cut down on their fouling problems, something I didn't think we'd see from them this season.
Player of The Game Leader Board
- Elton Brand: 9
- Andre Iguodala: 6
- Jrue Holiday: 5
- Thaddeus Young: 4
- Jodie Meeks: 2
- Andres Nocioni: 2
- Spencer Hawes: 2
- Evan Turner: 1
Here's a look at games 32-40, with my early predictions attached.
- @ PHO (Tonight) - Loss. My bet is that Iguodala doesn't play and they get torched on defense again.
- @ LAL (Friday) - Loss. It doesn't matter if Iguodala plays or not.
- @ NOH (Jan 3rd) - Win. The Sixers will be well-rested, hopefully back to full strength. First game back from an east coast trip for the Hornets, and I really don't think they're a good team at all.
- vs. WAS (Jan 5th) - Win. The Sixers typically have a letdown game after the Ice Capades trip, but I'm betting against it. Extra motivation after the first two impossible losses to the Wizards.
- vs. CHI (Jan 7th) - Loss. Hopefully they at least show up vs. the Bulls this time, but I don't see them winning the game.
- @ DET (Jan 8th) - Win. Back-to-back, but Detroit is putrid. They have to beat these teams, no matter what the circumstance.
- vs. IND (Jan 11) - Win. I have a hard time believing Indy is for real. Sixers will have plenty of rest to meet the Pacers at home.
- vs. MIL (Jan 14) - Win. More rest for another home game against a team with a worse offense than Philly's.
- vs. CHA (Jan 17) - Win. See above.
By my calculations, I have the Sixers at 18-22 after 40 games. Probably a bit too optimistic, and definitely hinges on Iguodala not being lost for more than a couple games, but the schedule does get much easier when they return home from the trip.
What do you guys think? Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments, as usual.