Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NBA has had to take some unusual measures this season.
With the regular season having to be prematurely shut down, the start of playoffs will be postponed until the middle of August, with the league resuming on July 31st, 2020.
The top 22 teams (nine in the Eastern Conference and 13 in the Western Conference) will resume with an eight game play-in period before the playoffs begin. This is to determine the true seeding for the conferences.
With these play-in games and the playoffs following shortly thereafter, what does this mean for the Sixers?
The Sixers enter the eight-game play-in period as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 39 wins and 26 losses. Because of the way the rest of the team’s records are currently constituted, the Sixers could, at best, finish as the two seed after this play-in period, or as bad as the sixth seed, where they currently sit. There is no danger of the Sixers missing the playoffs this year. However, it will be important for the Sixers to do as best as possible to have the most favorable matchups moving forward.
As discussed in a previous article, the Sixers do not have positive records against most teams currently in the playoff picture. Of the other eight potential teams the Sixers could face in the playoffs, they hold a positive record against two of them: the Boston Celtics (3-1) and the Brooklyn Nets (3-1). Based on the way the records would line up, it would be ideal for these two teams to be the Sixers’ first two matchups. A lot would need to happen for this to be the case.
The Sixers would first need to win all eight of their games, followed by the teams who currently possess the two through five seeds to all lose enough games for the Sixers to capture the second seed, then the Nets will have to make the playoffs as the seventh seed (where they currently sit). And finally, the Celtics will have to land either the three or six seed.
What this is essentially saying: the Sixers will not have an easy path to the NBA Finals.
Regardless of how the matchups shake out, it will certainly be interesting to see how the Sixers and all NBA teams fair in this very strange format.
What seed do you think the Sixers will finish the play-in period as?
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