Should the Sixers eye the 6-seed?

Dave Uram
March 09, 2020 - 2:39 pm

It’s an interesting thought I’ve heard more than once, and certainly worth pondering given the bizarre nature of this Sixers season.

Where would Brett Brown’s squad be best suited to wind up once the postseason arrives after 18 more regular season games?

At 38-26, heading into Monday night, the 76ers are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, which is one game behind fifth-seed Indiana, three behind fourth-place Miami, five-and-a-half back of the third-seeded Celtics and seven-and-a-half off of the second-place Raptors.

It’s very unlikely the Sixers will catch Toronto before mid-April. Maybe they’ll be able to make a run at Boston, but the Heat and Pacers are much more realistic to pass. So, at best, it’s reasonable to think this underachieving team can turn things around enough to get home-court advantage at least in the first round.

Is that worth it?

If the Sixers play well enough, whether or not Miami or Indiana struggle to the finish line, will that give them the best matchup even if they have one more home game in the conference quarterfinals? The Heat won the season series against the 76ers 3-1. Not to mention, it’s going to be a very distracting storyline facing Jimmy Butler. The Pacers currently lead the season series over the Sixers 2-1 with both of those victories coming in Indiana. It’s no secret the road hasn’t been kind to the 76ers this season, as they’re 10-24 away from Wells Fargo Center.

At this point, you might be thinking, ‘ok, then trying for home court in the first round is the only thing that makes sense.’”

On the other hand, the 76ers finished 3-1 against the Celtics. Would they be best suited staying sixth and upsetting Boston in the first round? If they did, it would likely lead to a second round rematch with Toronto, who is a much easier opponent than Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Not to mention, Milwaukee has had trouble against the Heat this season. That could be a potential four-seed upset in round two and, hence, an easier conference final if the Sixers got hot enough to get there.

So, it’s an interesting thought toy with over the next month and a half.

Scenarios aside though, one thing that’s for certain is this team has to get healthy and play significantly better. Right now, they’re not a tough out for anyone in front of them.