Another off day for the Sixers to rest their weary bones. For us, it means another day to look back and another night to watch the out-of-town scoreboard (ATL vs. CHI). The Knicks choked away another one last night, shrinking at the MSG in the second half vs. the Celts. Hopefully, Chicago can do some more dirty work for them tonight.
GoSixers put together the following chart. It's a look at the Sixers' performance in each month of the season, with advance and basic stats, plus the strength of schedule (winning percentage of the teams they played). Take a look:
Just from a quick look at these numbers, I'm more impressed with their winning percentage in December than February. It was their toughest month of the season, it included the Ice Capades trip, and they still finished the month above .500. In February, they were absolutely dominant, but most of the damage was against lesser opponents.
March hasn't been too shabby either. They're over .500 with a tough record, but if they're going to remain over .500 for the fourth consecutive month, it's going to take a strong finish. They have five games remaining, four against winning teams, 3 against teams ahead of them, 2 against teams with a +.680 winning percentage, 1 against a team with a with a .725 winning percentage (and that one is the second night of a back-to-back, on the road). The other game should be a gimme, but afternoon weekend games always carry a certain amount of uncertainty. If you read yesterday's post, I'm feeling optimistic these days, but let's just say if the Sixers do manage to go 3-2, or better, over their next five, they will have earned it.
As for scoreboard watching, well, the Hawks/Bulls battle is the only game in town. The Bulls are on the second night of a back-to-back, but they barely broke a sweat while beating the Kings by 40 last night. To be more accurate, they just sat back and let DeMarcus Cousins do most of the damage to Sacto.
If the Hawks lose tonight, the Sixers will have an opportunity to move to within 2.5 games of the #5 seed on Wednesday night, and Atlanta's schedule gets harder from this point on. They could easily be looking at a 3-7 finish over their last 10. First things first, though. We need Chicago to take care of Atlanta tonight, and it wouldn't hurt the Sixers' cause if ATL had to play their regulars 40+ minutes, either.