144-50 (.742). That is the Sixers’ record at Wells Fargo Center over the past five years. That is good for second-best in the NBA over that time span.

The Wells Fargo Center can be as loud as any arena in the NBA, and Philadelphia fans can change the environment of any game and make it difficult for the opposing team. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost five straight series in the second round, four in the Joel Embiid era.

One of the biggest reasons has been their inability to defend home court in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Let’s take a look at their home results through those four series with Embiid: 

2017-2018 vs. Boston Celtics- 1-1

2018-2019 vs. Toronto Raptors- 2-1

2020-2021 vs. Atlanta Hawks- 1-3

2021-2022 vs. Miami Heat – 2-1

Combined Record- 6-6 (.500)

As you can see, the .500 winning percentage is much worse than the .742 winning percentage the Sixers have in the regular season over the same period. The quality opponent that you play is significantly higher than what you would play over a long period of time in the regular season. However, it is concerning that more often than not, when the Sixers have had the chance to take over a series with the advantage of home court, they have been unable to achieve it.

Examples include games five and seven against the Hawks, game four of the series versus the Raptors when they were up 2-1, and even last year ending your season on your homecourt losing game 6 against the Miami Heat. 

The Sixers have put themselves in an unbelievable situation: they have split the first two games of the series vs. the Celtics — most thought that wouldn’t be possible with the health concerns over 2022-2023 MVP Joel Embiid (Congrats, by the way). The job is not done; there is no you have to in sports, and both games, three and four, are not must-wins.

They are great opportunities to show the NBA world that this year is different, to show the NBA that Embiid and the Sixers can get it done and beat the second-round demons that have haunted this city for 20+ years. Defend home court and championship aspirations have a greater chance of coming true. 

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