Monday, April 14, 2008

Sliding Sixers have two games left to move up

The Sixers have come back down to earth. After tearing up the NBA for the last two months, the Sixers appear to have finally slowed down, losing 3 of their last 4, to drag their record back down to .500. Since flirting with the 4th seed in the East not too long ago, the Sixers have fallen down and settled into a tie for the 6th seed with Toronto, but since the Raptors hold the tie-breaker, the Sixers are currently the 7th seed.

With two games to play, there is still room for the Sixers to move past the Raptors and earn the 6th seed, but anything higher than that is unlikely. The Raptors have an incredibly easy last two games against the dregs of the Eastern Conference, so chances are the Sixers are stuck at 7. The Wizards also sit two games ahead of them in the 5th seed, but once they beat the Sixers on Saturday, they solidified their spot. Here are the remaining schedules for the Raptors and Sixers:

Raptors: vs. Heat (Mon), @ Bulls (Wed)
Sixers: vs. Cavaliers (Mon), @ Bobcats (Wed)

Regardless of whether the Sixers finish 6th or 7th, they will have a difficult first round match-up. Finish 7th, and the experienced Pistons await. Finish 6th, and Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic are the opponent. Both teams present major match-up problems for the Sixers, so getting out of the first round seems like a remote possibility.

The Sixers have come much farther than anyone expected this year, so no matter what happens in the playoffs, we have to look at this season as a success. The development of the youth has been fun to watch, and Andre Iguodala has evolved into the type of player we knew he could be. In the off-season, the Sixers will then look to add another piece with the cap room they created in the Kyle Korver trade, and hopefully they can build this team into a serious contender in the next few seasons.

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