Trouble in Philly
If the season ended today, the Philadelphia 76ers would be facing the Bulls as the 8-seed as Philly is tied with the Knicks and New York holds the tie breaker.
Unfortunately for the 76ers, the season doesn’t end today and they are in serious danger of missing the playoffs. Doug Collins crew has lost 11 out of its last 17 games including losing five of their last seven.
It was the tremendous lock-down team defense that ascended the Sixers into a winning franchise early in the season. Philly still ranks No. 1 in opponents points per game with 88.3, but it’s up about five points from where it was earlier and the 76ers aren’t defending like they used to. They let the New Jersey Nets put up 95 on them last night at home, in a crucial game for playoff seeding. Something has been broken on the defense lately.
It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the Sixers struggle to score points. Their leading scorer is Lou Williams off the bench and while he is a nice scoring guard, he isn’t the type of player that is going to carry the scoring load for a franchise as he is only averaging 15.0 points per game. Jrue Holiday is second on the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game, so the top two scorers for the Sixers are point guards, not good and Holiday isn’t even a scoring guard.
‘Star’ player Andre Iguodala only gets 12.0 points per game and fails to make a real impact on the offensive end if his defense isn’t creating easy buckets for him. Thad Young will get you about the same production, but is faced with the same offensive limitations.
So now the Sixers have seven games left that includes two matchups with the 3-seed Indiana Pacers and a game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Brew City. The Bucks are two games back of the Sixers right now and that could be the deciding game for who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. The Bucks schedule isn’t any easier as they also play Indiana twice and also have a game against the Celtics.
I think that the Sixers are going to fall out of the playoffs and be the first team out after they looked so great defensively through most of this shortened season. New York and Milwaukee are playing its best basketball as the season is closing while Philly is playing by far its worst of the season.