With the Sixers entering the week as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference at 17-7, a four game road trip lies ahead. They will face some really solid teams in the coming games and have a chance to instill even more confidence in their strong start to the season. Would a solid road trip out west make a big statement to the rest of the NBA about this team’s title chances?
The memory of last year’s Sixers is still relatively fresh in all of our minds. A rough season for many reasons, the team’s abysmal road record was one of their biggest downfalls. This season, road games are different for a variety of reasons, the biggest being no fans in most arenas. Traveling for long periods of time and staying in hotels while following the rigorous covid protocols still makes playing on the road potentially more difficult than playing at home.
To this point, the Sixers have played 11 road games. They’ve gone 6-5 in those contests thus far. Still a small sample size, but there’s obviously improvement on the road. That could be attributed to the different landscape of road games in the NBA, having Doc Rivers leading the team, or a number of other potential reasons. No matter the reasoning, the Sixers have played pretty well on the road and in the next four games have a chance to really boost their road record.
Feb. 9th @ Kings
The Sacramento Kings are coming off an impressive win in Los Angeles against the Clippers. De’Aaron Fox put up 36 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists. With that win, Sacramento is now 12-11 on the season and are currently on a 4 game win streak. Along with taking down the Clippers, they’ve also beat the Nuggets, Celtics, and Pelicans. Unlike most years, this will be tough game for the Sixers. They’re catching the Kings as they’re playing their best basketball of the year.
Feb. 11th @ Trailblazers
This will be a chance for the Sixers to get revenge on the Trailblazers after an embarrassing home loss last week while Portland was without both Damian Lillard and C.J. Mccollum. The defense in that game was nonexistent, and while the Sixers were without Ben Simmons, the team came out flat, especially in the second half of the game. This will be another tough contest with Damian Lillard presumably back in the fold for the Trailblazers in this one.
Feb. 13th @ Suns
Phoenix is another team that’s had a strong start to their season. They started tremendously hot early on, cooled off a bit, and have now won five of their last six games. In that stretch, they have wins against the Pistons, Warriors, Celtics, and Mavericks (twice). Currently, they sit at 13-9, good for fourth in the Western Conference.
Feb. 15th @ Jazz
The final game of the road trip will be one of the biggest tests for the Sixers so far in the season. Despite the lack of national media attention thus far, the Jazz have been the best team in the NBA so far. They have the best record in the league right now at 19-5. They’ve been proving just how good they are all season long. Of their last 10 wins, all but one has been a double digit victory for them. They’ve been dominant so far this season. Other than the Lakers, the Sixers haven’t played many contenders at full strength this year. Hopefully when this game is played all the stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons for the Sixers, and Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for the Jazz are on the floor.
This is an exciting road trip ahead for the Sixers that really gives them a chance to cement themselves as the leaders of the Eastern Conference. Every game will show us more and more about how good this team can really be. The goal should be to get back to Philadelphia going 3-1 or better. If they can do that, a true statement will have been made about the ceiling of this 76ers team.
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