As of December 3rd, the Sixers sit 3GB of the 1st place Milwaukee Bucks, who are winners of 12 straight.
By December’s end, standings will legitimately solidify, and the Sixers need to capitalize on upcoming opportunities to gain ground on each of the four teams ahead of them, with the headlining contest coming on Christmas Day when they host the Bucks.
The race for homecourt advantage in the East come mid-April-June 2020 is under full-swing and the top 5 teams in the East are proving just how important such a throne will be. Oddly enough, the only top-5 team currently with a home loss is the 1st place Bucks. However, at 18-3, they have the most impressive road record at 9-2. The 10-0 Sixers have the best home record but are the only top-5 seed in either conference with a .500 or worse road record (5-6).
With 15 games left over the course of 27 days, the Sixers are facing a demanding December test and have no other choice than to rise to the occasion.
By December 2018’s end the two teams who ultimately finished ahead of the 3rd place Sixers, the Bucks and Raptors, had records of 25-10 and 27-11, respectively. Conservatively, the Sixers need to go 10-5 at worst for the rest of December in order to keep up with last season’s required benchmark. This also doesn’t take into account that through 21 games last season, the 1st place Raptors had 17 wins compared to this season’s 18-win Bucks.
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To the Sixers’ advantage, they have the benefit of hosting the #1 Bucks and #2 Raptors while traveling to Boston and alternating home courts with the Heat. More notably, 8 of the Sixers’ next 12 games will be at home, underscoring how crucial it is for this team to stay hot by the time they culminate the 2019 calendar year with three consecutive road games vs. the Magic, Heat, and Pacers.
Needless to say, the NBA season is 82 games, and the Sixers fate won’t be decided after just 36 total games. It is the 2019-20 season, after all.
For the Sixers to reach their desired goal of going all the way, the advantage of having Games 1 and 2 of a potential ECF series at Wells Fargo Center cannot be stressed enough. No one needs to be reminded of how/where last season’s playoffs ended for the Sixers.
Featured Image: AP Photo