76ers Have NBA’s Best Remaining Schedule, And That May Assist Them Safe East’s Prime Seed – NewsOpener

There’s excellent news and dangerous information for the Philadelphia 76ers following their humbling 132-94 loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon. The dangerous information is that the loss was the group’s second consecutive loss to the Bucks and fourth in a row total. They dropped to second within the Japanese Convention standings behind the Brooklyn Nets throughout this mini shedding streak, whereas the third-seeded Bucks climbed nearer to the Sixers with the back-to-back wins. The Sixers weren’t totally wholesome for any of the 4 losses, however the scoreboard doesn’t care who was on the court docket, and neither do the standings. 

After occupying the highest seed within the East for almost all of the season, the potential of dropping to 3rd now doesn’t appear so far-fetched for Philadelphia with just some weeks remaining within the common season. However, right here’s the excellent news: the Sixers have the league’s best remaining schedule down the stretch, and that smooth schedule may assist them safe the highest seed. Right here’s a take a look at the opponents remaining on the Sixers’ slate following the Saturday matinee in Milwaukee:

Hawks (Twice)
Magic (Twice)  

Out of all these groups, solely the Warmth and Hawks presently have a profitable file. On the flip aspect, the Nets have the ninth hardest remaining schedule, which incorporates video games in opposition to a number of Western Convention playoff groups just like the Suns, Nuggets, Mavericks and Path Blazers. The Bucks have the twenty third hardest scheduled left — not essentially an arduous stretch for Milwaukee, however nonetheless tougher than the one going through the Sixers. Moreover, the Nets and Bucks have a two-game sequence developing in opposition to one another in early Might, whereas the Sixers haven’t any video games remaining in opposition to both group. For what it’s price, the Sixers maintain the tiebreaker with the Nets, and the Bucks maintain the tiebreaker with the Sixers. 

Securing the highest seed within the East is necessary, not solely as a result of it comes with homecourt benefit by way of the convention finals, but in addition as a result of it means they solely should face one of many different high groups within the convention in a seven-game sequence as a substitute of doubtless having to go in opposition to each, as the 2 groups that don’t end first must. The Sixers know all of this, and so they haven’t been shy about expressing the significance of securing the East’s high seed.

“[It’s] crucial,” Ben Simmons stated of the highest seed. “We would like that No.1 seed… I feel we’re greater than able to it.”  

“For me, the one seed is essential,” Joel Embiid agreed. “Each sport we play at dwelling, it simply appears like we’re unbeatable. So we simply gotta maintain pushing, maintain grinding out these wins, and do our greatest to maintain profitable.”     

Along with getting the highest spot, the Sixers additionally should get wholesome in the event that they’re going to make an actual run. Ben Simmons has missed the previous 4 video games with an sickness, whereas Embiid was out on Saturday with shoulder soreness after lacking a big chunk of video games lately with a knee damage. Plus, Tobias Harris remains to be on the mend after coping with a knee damage of his personal. When the Sixers have had their full first 5 they’ve been as harmful as any group within the league, however they change into susceptible once they’re pressured to rely too closely on their depth. 

If the Sixers had to decide on between full well being or the highest seed within the East, they’d select well being, as would all groups. However ideally, they’d have each. That’s what they’ll be striving for, no less than, however there’s a stability that they’ll should strike. A comparatively softer schedule may permit them to run off some wins and solidify their seeding whereas additionally discovering some relaxation time for his or her principal guys earlier than postseason play. 

Given the truth that they have been with out key contributors every sport, Philadelphia’s latest four-game skid shouldn’t be a serious trigger for concern, aside from that it may finally price them the highest seed. Fortunately, the schedule is on their aspect shifting ahead, and that may very well be the distinction in an in any other case extraordinarily tight race for Japanese Convention superiority. 

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