Now is not the time to start thinking about seeding. Now is not the time to be checking the out-of-town scoreboard. It happened to this team at this time last season, and it cost them down the stretch. They cannot afford to look the big picture, they cannot afford to focus on anything other than tonight's game with the Charlotte Bobcats.
Luckily, we can!
Seriously, though. The Pistons are atrocious. They've now slipped to the #8 seed and they're only 3 games up on Charlotte in the loss column. They're under .500 at home, if you can believe that.
Miami has ridden Dwyane Wade all season long and he's starting to seriously show the effects. The Heat have now lost back-to-back road games to the Pacers and the Bulls. If the Sixers did that we'd spend a week lamenting how mediocre they are. Maybe having a superstar alone just isn't enough. At least, not when that superstar is named Dwyane Wade. I don't see LeBron ever letting his team sink like this, but that's just me.
With Miami's loss, the Sixers are percentage points ahead of them for the #5 seed, but more importantly, the Sixers are 1 game up in the loss column, and 2 games up on them in conference record, which is the tiebreaker. If they play even with Miami the rest of the way, they finish ahead of the Heat.
Jordan took a look at Atlanta's remaining schedule earlier, check it out here. Put it this way, Atlanta is 4 games up on the Sixers, but only three in the loss column. If the Sixers win their next three, there's a very, very good chance they'll be even with Atlanta in the loss column on April Fool's day (Wednesday). A win over Charlotte, a win over Detroit, then a win against the Hawks. Coupled with Atlanta losses to Boston and the Lakers and we're looking at a 9-game dogfight for the number 4 seed.
I was wondering if I should even write this post, mainly because I'm a superstitious freak about jinxing my teams, but I couldn't resist. This season is right there for the Sixers to take. How sweet would a home playoff series be for these guys? How sweet would it be for us?
What I said at the beginning of this post holds true, though. While it's fun for us to play the what if game, they need to avoid it like the plague. Focus on each team and let the competition fold under the pressure like they have been. Take care of your own business and the rest will work out.
Here's my unanswerable question for the morning, give it your best shot in the comments: Since Elton Brand's shoulder injury, the Sixers are 26-19. Last year, they went on a similar run late in the season, the same thing happened the year before. So here's the question, since this roster has a history of getting hot late in the year, or maybe just figuring things out as the season goes on, would they have the same record if Brand hadn't gotten hurt, would they have a better record, or would they have a worse record? Give me your thoughts in the comments.
Extra credit: Does conditioning have anything to do with the Sixers' second half runs? If they aren't the best conditioned team in the league, they're definitely in the top three. Does that give them more energy for these games at the end of the schedule? More importantly, does it keep them healthier?