The Philadelphia 76ers currently have the best home record in the NBA, yet are only the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Why is that? Because the 76ers also sport the 22nd-worst away record in the NBA.
The Sixers are 22-2 at home and 9-18 on the road**.
Why is their performance when they are on the road so bad compared to when they are at home?

Playing better when you are at home versus when you are away is nothing new. It is actually expected of teams to do better when they play in front of their own fans. 19 of the 30 NBA teams have better records at home compared to away, and two more teams have the same record for both home and away games.

Philadelphia’s record difference is by far the largest in the league.

No other team’s record dip comes within five games of the difference in records that the Sixers have.

The Team Stats

The Philadelphia 76ers get worse in every single statistic besides blocks per game when the play on the road. And that number only goes from 5.3 blocks per game at home to 5.6 blocks per game away. The points, rebounds, assists, steals, and all shooting percentages all go down when on the road. Not to mention the fact that Sixers foul more and turn the ball over more when on the road. The opposite goes for the opponents’ numbers. The Sixers’ opponent does better in every statistical category besides steals per game when Philly is on the road.

The team does not just get worse in some categories when they are on the road. They get worse in virtually every single category! What makes it worse is the stats are not even close. Philly scores 111.4 points per game at home compared to 105.7 on the road. The opponent scores 101.2 points per game when playing the Sixers in Philadelphia compared to 110.4 when the Sixers are the visitors. These numbers are far beyond the run of the mill drop-off in production that normal teams have while playing at home compared to away.

Player Stats

Tobias Harris’

three-point shooting is actually almost exactly the same as the team three-point shooting. The team shoots 37% from three at home and 33% away. Tobias shoots 37% from three at home and 32% away. While Tobias’ three-point shooting is representative of the teams’, Matisse Thybulle is the poster-child for his shooting successes and woes. Thybulle shoots 45.7% from the field and a ridiculous 49.2% from three at home, then falls off a cliff by shooting 33% from the field and 25.9% from three on the road. A 12.7% and 23.3% drop off! And Furkan Korkmaz joins the club by shooting 43% from three at home and 33% from three away. The difference in all these numbers is ridiculous.

Al Horford is a substantially more efficient scorer at home than on the road. Horford scores 13.3 points per game at home compared to 11.5 away. Those numbers are not too crazy, but his shooting percentages are. Horford drops from 48.8% from the field at home to 41.5%. From three, he drops from 35.2% to 29.7%. The biggest difference, however, is his free-throw percentages. An 88.4% foul shooter at home plummets to a 54.4% foul shooter away from home.

Mental Block

It is understandable for the team to struggle a little more on the road. You lose your supportive fan base and replace it with a hostile one. You have to travel to another city, most likely pretty far from Philadelphia. Even little things like sleeping in your own bed or being used to the court and rims at home can play a factor. But there is just some mental block that is keeping the team from doing what they are capable of doing.

The Sixers need to figure it out fast, too, because they are not going anywhere in the playoffs if they remain the sixth seed. The team is also very concerning 1-10 against teams with winning records on the road. There is no way you can win in the playoffs if you cannot win some games on the road. Whether it takes more practice, earlier curfews, or hypnotizing themselves into thinking they are in Philadelphia, they have to do whatever it takes to figure this road struggle out.

76ers players are going to have to take a good hard look at themselves and dig deep in an effort to get out of this slump.
As fans, all we can do is continue to bring the energy every night in Philadelphia because whatever it is we are doing at home, the players feed off of it. Maybe we just have the entire city travel with the team.

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**Exact records and statistics may have changed from the time of
publishing of this article.
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