Tonight, the Sixers have two choices. They can rest the starters and try to go into the playoffs with fresh legs, or they can take the court with their usual rotation and go for a .500 record. In the ledger, this game doesn't mean anything. The Sixers will face the Pistons in the first round. There's no hope of this win having anything to do with home court in an upcoming round. The Sixers are where they are, record-wise. That being said, they have to go out there and win this game for a couple of reasons.
First of all, there's a big psychological difference between being a losing team (40-42) and a .500 team. The word "losing" in that sentence pretty much sums it up. This is the first reason, but really not the most important one.
The main reason this game really is important is that the Sixers aren't good enough to press the on/off button. They coasted through a home game against the Pacers and lost. The intensity wasn't there at the Wizards and they let that one slip away. The first three quarters against the Cavs, same story. This team cannot afford to lose its edge. In fact, if the players on the team are still steaming about the way the game was stolen from them on Monday night, I'd be surprised if they allowed Mo to bench them.
Tonight's game isn't just about finishing .500. It isn't just about putting the robbery behind them. It's all about momentum. They need to out there to show the fans, the media, the Pistons and most importantly themselves that the team we saw in the fourth quarter on Monday night is the team we're going to see from here on out. This team does not take games off, they can't afford to. If you're playing Philly, you're in for a fight.