The 76ers have been playing fairly good basketball down the stretch, and are battling for a favorable position in the upcoming playoffs. The Sixers currently sit in the 6th seed, with a record of 40-37, 0.5 games behind the Miami Heat, with a game in hand. Unfortunately, they lost their 2nd straight last night, in a game they really needed, against the Bobcats 101-98.
In the Eastern Conference, it is all about seeding. With three elite teams (Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando), you do not want to end up in the 6, 7, 8 seed range and face one of those teams in the first round, because it will more than likely be one-and-done. That basically leaves the 4-5 matchup as the first round matchup that you want to be in. There is currently a three-team battle for the 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds between the Atlanta Hawks in the 4 spot right now, the Heat in the 5th spot, and the Sixers in the 6th spot.
The Sixers are playing well right now, with Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, and the currently injured Thaddeus Young all contributing. The Sixers are 4 games over .500 since the start of March, including a win over the Hawks during that span. Iguodala has had a very good 2nd half of the season, and is averaging 18.5 PPG, and over 5 boards and assists per game. Lou Williams continues to provide a consistent scoring threat from off the bench, and seemingly can get to the rim with ease. Marreese Speights is growing up as the season goes along, and it looks like the Sixers may have a solid player for the future in Speights.
With only six games remaining, it would be optimal to pass the Heat in the standings and get the 5th seed. Even though we would have to go on the road to start the playoffs, the Sixers had a winning record against the Hawks in the regular season, and can definitely beat them in the 1st round of the playoffs. Even with a win in a potential first round series against the Hawks, that would leave the Sixers as one of four teams left along with the Big 3 in the Eastern Conference. So, although the Sixers would more than likely make a 2nd round exit at this point, it is still exciting to watch playoff basketball, and the Sixers need to generate as much interest as possible at this point. Most Sixers fans would enjoy a playoff run, even if it is short lived.