36 up, 34 down, 12 left to go. The Sixers are already four games better than where I thought they'd finish the season, and they aren't done yet. Let's take a look at the remaining schedule and put our predictions on the record to kick off the work week.
Download the advanced stats spreadsheet for the entire season here.
42.5% of voters nailed the Sixers 6-4 record over the past 10 games. I had them at 7-3, but managed to get three games wrong (I had BOS as a loss, and wins against UTA and MIL). Still, another 10-game stretch with a winning record is nothing to sneeze at.
Here's a look at the final 12, with my predictions. Check them out, vote in the poll, then leave your thoughts on how the season will end in the comments below.
- vs. ATL, Wednesday - For once, the Sixers are on the taking end of a scheduling quirk. Atlanta plays Tuesday night in Chicago. The Sixers will need to shake off some rust, but I'm going to look at the three-day layoff as needed rest. W.
- @ MIA, Friday - I'm not impressed by Miami. Still can't call it a win. L
- vs. SAC, Sunday - Win. They're a bad, bad team. W.
- @ CHI, 3/28 - I'm calling this game a win for one reason, and one reason only. I will actually be in Chicago, sitting right behind the Sixers bench, for this one. No way they lose with me in attendance, on the road. (Just ignore the back-to-back for the Sixers, against another well-rested team in the Bulls.). W.
- vs. HOU, 3/30 - Houston is pretty much even with the Sixers in standings, though in an odd twist, the Sixers actually have a better record against Western Conference teams than Houston does. Houston is only above .500 because they beat up on the East. Anyway, I'm calling it a win. Houston is on the second night of a back-to-back, the Sixers are not. W.
- vs. NJN, 4/1 - Deron Williams might be done for the year. W
- @ MIL, 4/2 - Second night of a back-to-back, in MIL. That didn't end well for the Sixers last time. This time, MIL is also on short rest. I think they take the challenge head on. W
- @ BOS, 4/5 - I think they could win it, but I won't predict it. L
- vs. NYK, 4/7 - Back-to-back for both teams. The Sixers are deeper, younger, and have a shorter flight (NYK @ TOR the previous night). I'm taking the Sixers to lock down the tiebreaker. W
- vs. TOR, 4/8 - Has to be a win. W
- vs. ORL, 4/11 - Orlando will probably be locked into the #4 seed, but there's a chance this game could be the difference between the #5 and #6 for PHI, so Orlando may have something to play for. Either way, I think the Sixers take it. Longest homestand of the season to end the season, kind of like that. W.
- vs. DET, 4/13 - If they need this game, it's going to be a win. I don't think they're going to need it, though. The #6 seed will be decided long before this game, and I'm afraid #5 may be just out of reach. L
OK, those are my admittedly bullish predictions for the rest of the games. 9-3 to finish the season with a 45-37 record, which I think will be good for 6th by a couple of games.
By the way, if these five off days don't "fix" Iguodala and he winds up missing more time, subtract a bunch of wins from my prediction.
Extra credit predictions for you guys in the comments: Where do they finish in the standings and who do they play in the first round?