It's our habit around here to break the season down into easily-digested slices. This year, we're going with six 11-game portions. Over the first 11, the Sixers finished 8-3 (which was actually the most popular prediction in the poll), now let's take a look at games 12-22.
Let's get right to it, here's the schedule:
- 12. @ WAS, 1/14 Both teams on the tail end of a back-to-back. It won't be as easy as the first game, but it should still be fairly easy. Win
- 13. vs. MIL, 1/16 Milwaukee has two days off, the Sixers one day heading into this one. MLK Day matinee against a really bad team that hasn't won on the road. I'm calling this one a comfortable win. Win
- 14. vs. DEN, 1/18 The Sixers have an off day, the Nuggets play the night before. This is a matchup the national scribes are going to drool over. The Nuggets are essentially the Sixers of the West, or vice-versa. They're also one of the only teams the Sixers won't be able to completely overwhelm with their bench depth. It really helps that they'll be playing with no rest. Win
- 15. vs. ATL, 1/20 Both teams well-rested. No Al Horford for Atlanta, and Willie Green is legitimate part of their rotation. Win
- 16. @ MIA, 1/21 No rest for the Sixers, Miami has previous day off. The Sixers will get up for this one, big time, but on the road, no rest, I don't think they get over the hump, even if Wade's ankle injury sidelines him for this one. Loss
- 17. vs. WAS, 1/23 Day of rest for PHI, back-to-back for WAS. Win
- 18. vs. NJN, 1/25 Both teams rested. The Nets are just terrible, and the Sixers will lose to a terrible team, but not this time. Win
- 19. vs. CHA, 1/27 Both teams rested. Another terrible team, but Diaw has always killed the Sixers and he's currently the second-best fat player in the league. This is the loss to a really bad team. Loss
- 20. vs. DET, 1/28 Both teams on B2B. Detroit has to travel, Philly doesn't for the second half of a back-to-back, plus Detroit's a bad team. Win
- 21. vs. ORL, 1/30 Sixers rested, ORL on second night of B2B. Magic have to travel from Orlando after playing the Pacers. I think Collins/Thorn/Harris have this one circled on their calendars (or at least I hope so). A day of preparation is enough to figure out a defensive scheme for Dwight and 11 other guys. Win
- 22. vs CHI, 2/1 Both teams rested. The Sixers played the Bulls very well last year after getting doors blown off early in the season, and I think they could win, but they won't win 'em all. Loss
There you have it. I've got them at 8-3, again. A 16-6 start would be pretty huge, but I think it's certainly possible. They've got some tough games coming up, but overall the schedule remains favorable.
What do you guys think? Vote in the poll and leave your predictions in the comments.
The game thread/preview for tonight's game in Washington will be up by 5pm.