The next seven games for the Philadelphia 76ers could play a big role in deciding whether or not the team can hold onto the #1 seed in the east. From tonight against the Mavericks to April 24th against the Bucks for a second straight game, we will learn a lot about how this team stacks up to some of the best in the NBA.
A critical stretch of games lies ahead for our Philadelphia 76ers. Currently sitting at 36-17, the Sixers have the same record as the Brooklyn Nets and hold the tiebreaker between the two teams. Once this stretch of games is completed, there will be less than a month left in the regular season, and it’s likely every game will matter down the stretch in terms of seeding. So, what exactly can we expect to see from the 76ers during the most challenging part of the schedule remaining?
The upcoming schedule for the Sixers looks like this:
Today, April 12 @ Mavericks
Wednesday, April 14 vs Nets
Friday, April 16 vs Clippers
Monday, April 19 vs Warriors
Wednesday, April 21 vs Suns
Thursday, April 22 @ Bucks
Saturday, April 24 @ Bucks
With four of these seven games at home, it certainly feels like there’s a chance for this to be a really successful stretch of games. There are two games the Sixers should absolutely win: tonight @ Dallas and next Monday vs the Warriors. The Mavericks have started playing more consistent basketball than they have all year and Luka Doncic is always going to be a problem, but there should be no excuses for this one. The last time the Sixers faced the Warriors it was a 10 point victory, but the Sixers were without Joel Embiid and the Warriors were without Stephen Curry. With this being a home game, there’s no reason for the team to drop this one, even if this is another rest game for Embiid.
The Nets game is one that fans have been anticipating all year long. However, it appears likely that we still won’t be seeing these teams face off at full strength. James Harden will not be reevaluated for his hamstring strain until April 16th and Kyrie Irving is currently listed as day-to-day. This will be the last meeting against the Nets in the regular season, so for the Sixers there’s a possibility that the only way they can face this team at full strength is by making the conference finals.
This stretch of games ends in a very critical two-game series in Milwaukee. The last time the teams faced it was pretty dramatic. Without Joel Embiid, the Sixers took the Bucks to Overtime and nearly won the game. They opened up a pretty big lead, let it slip, and then Furkan Korkmaz hit the game-tying three to send it to OT. The biggest standout from that game was the taunting done by Giannis Antetokounmpo. If you remember, and I’m sure everyone does, Giannis took a seat on the floor of Wells Fargo Center in celebration.
Here’s hoping the team took that personally and we see some sweet revenge on the Bucks floor at Fiserv Forum.
We all know the importance of home court advantage in the playoffs. The Sixers have a real chance to hold onto the #1 seed in the eastern conference and the next seven games will be crucial in deciding if the team can do it.
Photo: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press