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The Race Is On

great overview, thanks

I just don'├Čt see Miami going on a six game winning streak, I am not impressed by the Heat at all (and this reguardless of lat night's game), it's really a one-man team, if Wade is tired or on a night off, I can't see anybody stepping up and carrying them to the win

So Miami might well lose @ Nets AND @ Detroit, and the second part of their schedule looks pretty tough

I pretty much agree with your prediction about us, interesting how 43-39 was the record in JOB year, last time we had a winning season... it costed us Dalembert's awful contract, LOL

a first round series vs Orlando would result in a sweep, I'm afraid, or 4-1 at best, we match up really bad with them

Great blog, as usual. I think you maybe generous on the sixers wins (they are so inconsistent, I could see them beating LA and losing to Sac!) BUT I also think the Nets and Knicks may surprise the Heat. So, given above, I do think the sixers have a better than 50/50 chance of being in the 5th spot IF Sammy keeps playing like the last 3. And I think (I cannot believe I am saying this), he will. We maybe a surprise to the league if Sammy and Thad keeps playing like the last 3.

This Lakers game is going to mean a lot. They have three wins in a row, which is absolutely something to build on. More importantly, they've gotten much better play out of two of their key guys. If they go into LA and get destroyed, the momentum could be gone and we could be looking at a long trip. If they go in and at least hold their own, the momentum could carry over and a 4-1 trip might be possible.

Even if they're going to get blown out, I always get pumped up for games against the best teams.

I think what we're failing to address here, is that if we don't get teh 5 seed, we might be better off getting the 7. The Celtics seem to be in somewhat of a "let's get healthy mode" and the magic are now only 0.5 games behind them for the 2. It doesn't need to be stated that we'd like to avoid the celtics at all costs. IMO, I'd rather even play the cavs than the celts.

I think it's a toss up w/ the top three. Boston wasn't exactly stellar early in the playoffs last season, and they're walking wounded right now. Orlando's threes could kill us, but I don't really believe in any team with Rafer Alston as it's starting point and the Sixers could very easily have 2 wins against them this season. And do you really want to play LeBron when the games matter?

Great breakdown. The one thing it does not take into account is how streaky this team is. They could just as easily go 14-4 in this stretch as go 7-11. A lot rides on whether they can get some positive momentum on the road trip.

Last March they started out 11-2. Two years ago they went 15-7 from late Feb to early April. Maybe they are due for another great March?

I don't think the sixers have the horses to beat any of the top 3 in 7 games anyway - so i don't think 'playing for position' at 6/7/8 matters

And if the celtics rest on their laurels they could cost themselves a trip to the finals as the cavs are monsters at home.


Agreed. 6-8 is a complete crapshoot, and they probably have just as small of a chance against one as they do against the others. Unless there's some kind of key injury between now and then. And by key I mean Garnett, LeBron or Howard/Lewis, depending.

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Tom Moore on Mar 16 at 19:03
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Sixers probably have to go 3-2 on seven-day trip to have a decent shot at No. 5. That won't be easy, with Lakers 30-4 at home, Blazers 28-6 and Suns 20-13 (remember, Sixers only have one win in five weeks -- Heat Sunday -- vs. a .500 team). Even Warriors (17-16) have winning home record. Was Thunder game just a mirage? It'd better be.

Miller said the goal is "three or better," but two sets of back-to-backs and Sixers' inconsistency make that tenuous.

BTW, Miller (sore calf) and Iguodala (lower back strain) didn't practice Monday in LA, but are expected to play tomorrow.

3-2 would be a great trip, IMO.

Honestly, I think it'll take another miracle run for this team to finish with the #5 seed. They'll probably have to swing 3 or 4 of those games I have counted as losses in their favor, and beat some tough teams.

3-2 would be a great trip cause it would mean they beat a team they really shouldn't - i have them down for 2 wins - GSW cause that team seems to be imploding and I think Sacramento cause they just sink

Erm Brian, referring to the last line of your entry, if we do end up at #6 and Orlando does overtake Boston as you predict, we'd end up playing Boston, not Orlando.

I do think we have more of a chance against Orlando as opposed to Boston. I don't see how we can score enough against the stifling Boston defense. I won't mind facing the Cavs but it'll suck losing to them.

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Tom Moore on Mar 16 at 21:39
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Orlando spreads the floor with shooters and has Howard inside. The Magic are a handful, even without Jameer Nelson.

http://sixers.realgm.com/articles/125/20090312/can_iguodala_and_young_share_the_wings/

I just read this article and had to share it with you guys.

We have to make Iggy and Young work at the 2 and 3, therefore why not give it more burn? I agree with the writer that we don't have much of a chance in the playoffs anyway, why not just stick with Iggy at the 2 and Young at the 3 the rest of the way, since that's what we intend to do when Brand returns?

I reckon if we put Miller/Iggy/Young/Speights/Daly as our starting 5 we'd win more games than with the current lineup.

Good read. I think we've all been calling for this lineup for a while now. DiLeo has used Iggy at the 2 and Thad at the three for stretches over the past couple, but there hasn't been any kind of commitment to it at all. Right now, I'm just hoping we'll see Donyell get more minutes, Reggie get fewer minutes, and Sammy continue to be motivated by whatever has been motivating him over the past three games.

I want to make a statement. Many of you will think I am drunk (fyi, I do not drink alcohol!). I think that the sixers could surprise us THIS YEAR (and win more than 2 rounds) if:

1. Thad continues his shooting like a shooting guard.
2. Sammy continues to play center like he has the last 4 (can you believe 4 straight games?????).
3. Donyell continues shooting 3's from time to time.

The above 3 items have been missing all year and makes our team a complete different team. I really believe the above. Try to prove me wrong, BUT ONLY W/ FACTS. And, I stress ALL 3 MUST CONTINUE.

More than 2 round? I'd say there's zero chance they could beat 2 of Boston, Cleveland and Orlando, so they'd have to get up to the #5 seed to have even the slightest prayer. I will say this, though. When Sammy is playing at this level, the defense can really be one of the best in the league. The key is to have the entire team trusting that Sammy is going to block or challenge every shot around the hoop. That allows the perimeter guys to stick w/ their men and close out on threes aggressively.

Even though I said on here earlier this year that the Magic scare me with all of their shooters, I think we definitely match up better with them than the Cavs or Celts.

While they have proven themselves over the course of the season, it only takes one off-shooting night, with a low percentage shot to begin with, to be on par with these guys as the Sixers have proven they can do in 2 of the games against them this season. Rashard missing a last second 3 and the Sixers executing better in a 6 to 8 minute stretch in the 4th quarter, and suddenly the Magic don't look like such a daunting matchup. Sam will bring his A-game against Howard b/c he is a 'big name'. So he can handle him straight up which the team has done each time we played them this year (we just didn't expect him to make almost all of his free throws like he did that one game).

Whether we end up #6 or #7, I just hope the top of the seeding plays out where we get the Magic and not Boston.


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