• December 9, 2022

Can The Sixers Catch The Hawks And The 5th Spot?

With last night’s victory over the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76’ers closed to within 2.5 games of the slumping Hawks who are losers of 8 of their last 11 games and 14 of their last 21. With the Hawks in a potential free fall and the Sixers steady progression what are the chances of the Sixers gaining the 5th seed which would place them against the Orlando Magic. If that’s the case, what happens then?

Let’s take a look.

The Hawks mental state has been described by their coach John Drew as “fragile” when your last four defeats are by an average of 18.5 points I can suspect some apprehension in the locker room. What’s surprising about this version of the Hawks is that they’re a veteran group that IMO got rid of a coach in Mike Woodson that had them prepared every night. I can’t say the same for Drew. I’m not saying he’s lost them but when it comes to leadership from someone, anyone in the ATL, I’m hard pressed to find any.

Of the Hawks 10 remaining games, they have an even split of home and away dates, among their remaining road games are dates with the Wizards and Bobcats – Houston is their only road opponent with a winning record. Three games on the Hawks schedule stick out – games at Cleveland, Houston and Indiana. I have the Hawks winning two of three, but expect anything. I have the Hawks going 5-5 -,6-4 at best to finish out at 45-37.

As for the Sixers, all of their road games are tough ones and I have them losing out. Miami, Chicago, Milwaukee and Boston. The game in Milwaukee is on the back end of back to back games and the Celtics contest is the first of back to back games in where they face the Knicks the following night.

The Bucks game can go either way – looking back on their last visit there doesn’t give me much confidence. Maybe the Bucks pack it in at this point – depends on what the Indiana Pacers do. Of course the Knicks game is critical and playoff positioning will be at stake.

I have them winning out at home (7 games) the game against Orlando I have them winning easily because the Magic are a solid #4 seed and will more than likely rest their starters. Which makes the game against the Knicks the most important home game remaining.

I have the Sixers finishing out the season at 7-4 (44-38 overall) – a 17-game improvement, but not enough to finish ahead of the Hawks for the #5 seed if everything holds true.

But as we know anything can happen, finishing anywhere from 5th to 7th are strong possibilities. The first tie-breaker for the Sixers and Hawks is conference victories in which the Hawks have a current 27-21 advantage.

Ron Glover

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EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 25, 2011 9:35 am

Ron, don’t sell this team so short, the sixers are legit. This is not the sixers we’ve come to get used to in recent years. This is a team even more so then when allen iverson was here because now on both ends you see production from everyone. There is balance scoring and all 12 play defense so this is a team. I do feel they will take over that 5th spot.

If they play the magic in the first round it will be a tough matchup but if they contain howard esp off the boards we ll have a chance. I remember the year we played the magic very well in the playoffs, that was the year the magic went to the finals. The same can happen this year, if the sixers play there best on both ends of the floor they can beat anyone.

So Ron “Show Ya Luv”!

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 9:57 am

EBG – I’m on board, deep down I believe the Sixers will be closer to my prediction than the Hawks. I watched and listened to John Drew before the game the other night and they’ve all but mailed it in. Joe Johnson has been a major disappointment this season. I was just trying to be fair to both teams.

Between me and you…they can beat Orlando!

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 25, 2011 10:31 am

That’s what i wanna hear! We as philly fans have been let down by our teams so much that were afraid to voice that were still confident in our teams. This sixer squad is worth cheering for and can beat any team in the league if they play as a team. Orlando relies on howard a great deal if the sixers can fustrate howard get him in foul trouble and even T’d up that would impact the series in a large way. And I believe if howard from this point on gets t’d up he ll have to miss games so we have a good chance in that series

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 10:45 am

In writing these pieces I want to sound like an intelligent fan and suppress the homer in me. šŸ™‚

paulman
paulman
March 25, 2011 10:54 am

Paulman reports that “Ron Glover” is an intelligent fan and a homer..

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 10:57 am

Ron Glover endorses Paulman’s message.

Erock
Erock
March 25, 2011 12:44 pm

Homers are the best fans.

I wouldnt like the Sixers chances against the Magic.D.H. is a grown man and would beast the Sixers bigmen all day. Now i think Doug would have a great strategy to get him into some foul trouble so we’ll see. But there bench is pretty nice. So is ares but it would be Magic in 6. Hope it goes 7 so we feel even better about next year. This team is awesoem to watch and D.Coll should be coach of the year. What a turn around job. int he midst of some health problems too. He’s HOFer.

Ron…Joe Johnson has been a HUGE let down.Werent we interested in him? He would be a nice piece right now with his head right. He needs a motivator as a coach.

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 1:00 pm

Call me crazy but I’m willing to roll the dice (very small dice) on Greg Oden. You can get him on the cheap and if it doesn’t work you cut your losses.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
March 25, 2011 1:02 pm

Don’t want them to win the 5th spot. I want them to play the Heat and they aren’t falling any lower than 3rd. Not that I think they can beat the Heat but that i would be good for the city and team to play them. They are the team that almost everyone hates. So the fanfare, the amount of people cheering for the sixers and TV ratings will be good for the team so the national audience can see us. The last time the sixers were in the playoffs almost every game (except the weekend ones) were on NBA where everyone doesn’t get it pay for it. Play the Heat they’ll be on TNT each game. And I think we’ll put a good scare into them.

scorpiodsu
scorpiodsu
March 25, 2011 1:05 pm

Erock, I agree with you. I don’t want to play Orlando for 2 reasons: Howard and not as exciting as playing the Heat. In either case I don’t think we’d win a 7 game series but the Heat series would be electric at the Center and that’s what this team needs to get back that national recognition for next year.

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 1:22 pm

scorpiodsu – I think that’s a great reason to play the Heat nothing like a little national exposure and the majority of the country will be pulling for us. You may have sold me on that.

Erock
Erock
March 25, 2011 1:22 pm

And the Heats well chronicled deficiant bench play would be just enough to make the Sixers push it to 6.And i hadn’t given it much thought about the atmosphere up there if they played the HEAT..but right on…fans would be nuts.

I want no parts of Greg Oden….develop our bigmen and look elsewhere.Nice chance in him coming back to be a solid starter. But i dont think he can run with this group.

Erock
Erock
March 25, 2011 1:24 pm

At least we would have great athletes on our squad taking turns being wolfed on by Bron.Foul that kid hard and get in his head.

schiller
schiller
March 25, 2011 1:34 pm

erock – agreed. Big man is definitely weak link, but I’m not hot on the Oden idea.

Scorp – great point about Miami.

Gotta Luv It
Gotta Luv It
March 25, 2011 1:40 pm

SIXERS = FOOLS GOLD
Any team they play will beat them in 5 games or less…..( my paulmondonis impession for the day )

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 2:03 pm

Should the Sixers go looking for a foreign big man that can play NOW!

Erock
Erock
March 25, 2011 2:11 pm

I’d endorse that. A guy thats got some grit to deal with Howard,Stoudamire,Garnett and the other thugs in the East.

Gotta Luv It…I gave him that nickname,so as the authority…nice impression..maybe add 5 sentences of prophecies to that and your spot on.End it with…Sorry,but the Sixers will meet the same fate as the Eagles. Something about the Eagles.

Sixers have to many athletes to be put out in 5 games by a few teams.I wouldnt call them fools gold.We all know there two seasons away form being legit.

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 25, 2011 2:15 pm

Aye I ve been a supporter of acquiring G.Oden for months now… they may have a chance at him in the offseason, you gotta at least take a shot at him, we need a shot blocking/ rebounding big man… the injuries do concern me a bit but I believe after this last fluke injury he ll be straight.

I digress, it sounds to me that a lot of you guys are just happy to be here, in other words your happy and content with the sixers making it to the first round and 1 and done. Guys let’s hope they can go further, our support can shoot this team further, yeah they have holes but so do the heat, so do the magic and so do the bulls (the bulls mask it well bc rose razzle and dazzles). Guys we gotta “Show Ya Luv” for them. They re a young up and coming team that plays the game right and needs our support

Let’s hope our team can do more than just “scare” our first round opponent. They may infact beat them. But I say all this to say I still hope we get the bulls over anyone else in the first round we match up better with them, I see a collapse coming for these bulls in the playoffs

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 2:18 pm

Should they trade their first round pick to try and get a possible frontcourt threat if affordable?

Erock
Erock
March 25, 2011 2:25 pm

Ron…where were you when Billy King was destroying this team dude?Liek the article and nice ideas about bigman.If they took a chance on Oden…would they be handcuffed with him? He had the microfracture a few years back..made it back and i’m lost on what else happened to him?

RonGlover
March 25, 2011 5:11 pm

Erock, thanks man. When Billy King stole and spent the churches money I was calling for his head from the rooftops. I wouldn’t allow him back within the city limits.

As far as Oden, He injured his knee again, I’m not sure to what extent or which one but he should be ready for the camps. I think we can get him cheap, the injuries lessen his value and I think he’s never going to break anyone’s bank anytime soon, I think it’s worth the risk – and he doesn’t have to start.

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 25, 2011 10:10 pm

AGAIN AS WHAT WAS EVIDENT TONIGHT AGAINST THE HEAT WE DO NOT MATCHUP AGAINST THEM. IGGY IS INJURED THEREFORE WE HAVE NOONE THAT CAN GUARD WADE OR LEBRON, BOSH GOT OFF TOO.

I DNT WANNA HEAR ANYONE ELSE SAY WE MATCH UP WITH THESE GUYS BECAUSE WE DON’T. I’M JUST BEING REALISTIC. EVERYONE WANTS TO BEAT THE HEAT AND I UNDERSTAND THAT BUT WE DON’T MATCHUP WITH THEM PLAIN AND SIMPLE. WE DON’T WANT THESE GUYS IN THE FIRST ROUND THEY’RE ON A MISSION LIKE I KEEP SAYING OVER AND OVER AGAIN

paulman
paulman
March 26, 2011 9:46 am

The Key to beating the Heat is to control and limit Wade..
LBJ will get his points and touches but it’s stopping the penetration and open looks from Wade and you have to deny him the ball as much as possible, The reality is that the Sixers do not have anyone strong enough to guard Wade at the Guard Position..
You really can’t put Iggy on Wade for then you are leaving one of the Sixers Guards to have to cover one of the Heat’s forwards LBJ/Bosh which isn’t good.. The Sixers have a problem with no real defensive stopper at Guard who is thick,strong to play the likes of Wade,Chicago ‘s Rose, Thunders Westbrook, Nets Deron WIlliams etc,etc,.
Against smaller fast Guards like Rondo, John Wall,Parker,Johnson, they can hold their own, but not the Physical Guards..

RonGlover
March 26, 2011 9:53 am

I agree with both of you, they need a stopper that can defend the 1-3.

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 26, 2011 3:52 pm

The sixers gave the heat there best shot. They were near flawless in the first quarter, causing Turnovers, scoring, defending, they were up by 16 at one point. And then the inevitable happen… the heat took over. The big 3 dominated. That whole talk of we gotta control and limit wade isn’t possible bc we have noone that can guard him. A healthy iggy can’t guard either wade or bron… did you see all the open lanes to the bucket? It seemed like the sixers paved a way for them. We have no post presence on the defensive side of the ball. The luxury that the heat have is they have 2 players both wade and lebron that compensate for there lack of a post defensive presence. Like I said they have holes too just like the magic n bulls n even the celtics but I don’t think the sixers are good enough to take advantage of them.

I hear guys saying deny wade the ball which is a good strategy, but who is capable on this team to do that? Jrue Holiday is talented but he’s young and has grown into his body yet, he’s the same height as wade but wade is much stronger

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 26, 2011 3:56 pm

Once Jrue gets stronger he ll be able to defend wade and westbrook and rose. But he still has a teenagers frame. Hey I would love to be able to say the sixers have a chance against the heat but sad to say as was evident lastnite, they just can’t hang with those guys. Wade, lebron,bosh are a different animal

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 26, 2011 4:05 pm

If we could get Turner to play with some more confidence on the defensive end then putting him on wade or lebron wouldn’t be a problem. But I fear a lot that the sixers give there opponents too much respect. Listen to there post game comments. Its as if there saying we didn’t expect to win but we gave it our all, or its so hard to stop kobe, lebron, wade, we did the best we could. That’s the definition of playing scared. We need the old philly sixers toughness for the entire gamr not just a half. Put fear in them and it has to be maintained on the defensive end

paulman
paulman
March 26, 2011 4:09 pm

I don’t ever see Jrue getting much thicker or stronger, he naturally has a lean build and unless he uses his height advantage just donesn’t have the upper body strength to shield off stronger players and don’t think he ever will with his slim build.. I am thinking of Guards in this years upcoming Draft draft, like a
Nolan Smith from Duke or a J Pulley from Kansas State, or someone who has the strength and foot speed to stay with many of the Physical Guards in the NBA.. If you can’t stop the ball at the POint, it really puts a lot of Pressure on the rest of the D and the Sixers are just not built across the Front line to be a physical team if the othere teams Guard can penetrate easily..

RonGlover
March 26, 2011 4:50 pm

As slow as Andre Miller seemed I loved the way he ran this team. He had the perfect size and was able to post up smaller guards. One of the things that doomed Eddie Jordan last season was losing the only point guard on the team that could run the Princeton offense – Miller.

EaglesBirdGang
EaglesBirdGang
March 28, 2011 10:58 pm

I hate to say I told you so but I believe I’m the only person on this site that said the sixers matchup best against the bulls and they proved it tonight. The sixers most likely won’t play the bulls since they’re holding down the 1st spot. We ll see the celts or heat.

But let’s hope the bulls fall so we ll see them in the 1st round, we can take them out in the 1st round. The only person we ll have to worry about would be rose. They lack the playoff experience and may be the eastern conference dallas mavericks they play great in the reg season then calapse in the playoffs but we ll see.

paulman
paulman
March 29, 2011 8:43 am

Good call EBG,
By the way, Schiller said that we can’t say “I told you so” any longer on this site..