As the end of the NBA regular season is fast approaching, the Sixers are in the pole position entering the playoffs.
The Sixers have a total of 18 games left this season and currently hold the number one seed. Although seeding could still shift as the Brooklyn Nets are only a half game out of first place and the Milwaukee Bucks only three and half games back, the Sixers have been able to maintain the top seed for majority of the season. If the Sixers are indeed able to secure the top spot sooner rather than later, the team can begin to focus on the major point of emphasis heading into the playoffs: rest.
Rest will be incredibly important for the entire Sixers’ lineup but the starters especially. As we know, the playoffs often times see team rotations shrink and the starters playing extended minutes. This only furthers the emphasis on the Sixers because they are so dependent on their starters performing well. This is not to say that the bench is underperforming or won’t see some time during the playoff match-ups, because that is not the case. The second unit will be incredibly important, but the starters will determine the success of the team in the playoffs. But because the starters are so important for the Sixers, we will need the starters to be well-rested by the time the playoffs roll around.
Now Joel has already missed some significant time due to injury and injury recovery, but we would still like to see him get some more rest in these last 18 games. This is also true for Seth Curry, but not quite as serious as Joel. We will definitely want to see him get some more rest as well. The Sixers have begun to do this with Tobias Harris and Danny Green as well, with the two missing a few games recently. But no player more deserves some rest than Ben Simmons. Simmons carried the team from an all-around perspective while Joel was out injured. Tobias certainly managed the offensive efforts for the most part, but Ben was the team’s leader during that stretch and continues to show why he is such an incredible talent for the team. Holding Ben out for a few of these games down the stretch will be crucial for him in the playoffs.
The team does face some stiffer competition in these last 18 games, with 12 of them projected to be against the current playoff teams (including the play-in teams). The being said, if the rest can be properly spaced out, the team will be able to manage in these games and continue the success they’ve had during the regular season to this point.
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