|Taking game one in Miami would've been unbelievable. Ideal, even. It didn't happen, but perhaps something more important did. No one knew if the Sixers who went on that tremendous run could suddenly reappear for the playoffs. Well, they did, in a big way.|
|If you asked the Sixers ownership if this was the plan when they hired Doug Collins last June, they'd say absolutely. The truth is, this was the hope. After sinking into the abyss under Eddie Jordan, no one knew for sure what was left on this roster. They made a trade for salary cap purposes which tied Collins hands, but somehow, here we are. A few hours away from a trip to the playoffs against everyone's preseason favorite to win the championship, the Miami Heat. So what now?|
|The playoffs, much more than the regular season, are about matchups, adjustments and strategy. Seven game series take on the form of a chess match played between the coaches. The series is usually decided by the talent on the floor, undoubtedly, but coaching can swing a game or two in either direction. Doug Collins is the ace up the Sixers sleeve.|
|There is one notable positive about playing the Heat in the first round: They're one of the few teams not headed for the lottery with possibly less talent at the center position than the Sixers. The odds of Spencer Hawes having a decent game are probably higher than Dampier, Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskus catching lightning in a bottle, not that they're all that high for Hawes.|
Latest comment: from das411...but what if Spencer actually starts knocking down a three pointer or two?...
|Elton Brand vs. Chris Bosh may just be the defining matchup of this series. It could easily swing either way, unfortunately for the Sixers, they can't settle for a wash at PF, they need a big. Luckily for the Sixers, Brand has big time help coming from the bench at PF.|
Latest comment: from RichNah, not that far back. This game for one was on ABC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbftEdSpsnE...
|Our first preview post focused on the importance of exploiting a mismatch at the PG position. Now we're going to have to take a look at mitigating damage from a colossal mismatch at shooting guard. Jodie Meeks vs. Dwyane Wade.|
Latest comment: from mymanjruebut i like your name even better. the sherrif!i think rodney buford led the league in ozs of weed per season...
|David vs. Goliath. I'm sure that's the last time you'll hear that phrase in relation to this series. This post will kick off our preview series. We'll go position-by-position, then talk about the head coach before my prediction lands some time on Saturday morning in advance of game one. Keep reading for the PG battle.|
|On this glorious Monday morning, let's take a close look at the playoff race, see if we can call a winner, and lay out all the scenarios for first-round matchups. The Sixers only have two games left, the first of which features Dwight Howard and the Magic in Philly later tonight.|
|Doug Collins stated last week that winning as many games as possible is the goal of this team. Playoff seeding and who the Sixers' first-round opponent may wind up being isn't really all that important beyond getting as many wins and the highest seed they can. It makes sense, especially with so much ambiguity among the top three seeds. What he hasn't mentioned, though, is how he's using these games to figure out his playoff rotation.|
|It seems absurd to look at a 5-13 record and even think the word playoffs, but when you look at the standings, the Sixers do have a legitimate shot. Whether this is good, bad or neither is another discussion, but sitting 2.5 out of the eighth and final spot is the reality of the situation after 18 games.|
|We're now seven games into the season and we've gotten a look at most of the teams in Eastern Conference with their new additions. There's obviously an absurdly long way to go, but let's take a minute and talk about the p-word anyway.|
|Something struck me earlier this season and it's really been driving me crazy as I've watched the playoffs unfold. Centers and point guards really don't seem to matter. Actually, let me rephrase that. Good centers and point guards matter, but neither is essential to putting together a winning team anymore.|
|Watching the various first round games last night made me feel a little ill, to be honest. Can anyone remember this time last year?|
|Contrary to what we saw on the floor last night, apparently some Sixers are upset that they got blown out to end their season. After the jump we'll take a look at some quotes and Coach DiLeo's post-game press conference.|