76ers Continue Their Chase of the Knicks

Blake Griffin goes up against former Clipper star forward Elton Brand.

The Sixers continue their road trip tonight as they take on the Sacramento Kings. The game is of course a matchup with the lowly Kings who are 16-50, but the matchup that matters most is the one with the Knicks. The Knicks are 35-32 and currently a half game ahead of the 35-33 Sixers. The Knicks take on the Pistons tonight.

The Sixers are coming off a decisive win against the L.A. Clippers in what turned out to be a bit of a heated game which included an ejection for Doug Collins and an almost fight between Tony Battie and Blake Griffin. The team seems to enjoy that style according to Lou Williams’ tweet after the game which read, “Aww man. Good win.. Got a Lil chippy… But we like that… Haha. Goodnight my people”. The win also allowed the Sixers to avoid their first 3 game losing streak since they were 3-13. Now at 35-33 they are chasing the Knicks for the East’s six seed which at the moment is a matchup with the Miami Heat. The seventh seed would currently face Boston who is a half game behind Chicago.

None of the top three teams in the East would be an easy matchup for the Sixers but the higher the seed the better. There could be a chance that if the Sixers get hot, they could surpass the Hawks for the 5th seed.  They currently trail Atlanta by 4 games. The 5th seed would currently be a matchup with the Orlando Magic, an opponent that would not be outside the realm of the Sixers beating in a playoff series.

Although some experts…Charles Barkley…suggest that the Sixers are making a big mistake by making the playoffs at all, the team seems very steadfast in their intent to do so. Doug Collins spoke the other day about how valuable playoff experience could be for this team. He compared the Sixers to the Thunder. The Thunder went from being an afterthought in the league, to making the playoffs, getting bumped in the first round and now being considered one of the better teams in the league. Collins seems to have a similar vision in mind for the Sixers. 

So with 14 games to go in the regular season, the Sixers seem like a shoe in to make the playoffs barring some sort of catastrophic meltdown. With that being said, the possible matchups in order of likelihood look like Miami, Boston, Chicago, and Orlando. The Sixers are currently 0-2 against Miami, 1-1 against Chicago, 1-2 against Boston and 1-2 against Orlando. The majority of those games were competitive with the exception of a blowout win by the Bulls.

A win tonight coupled with a New York loss would give the Sixers sole possession of the sixth seed. Andre Iguodala, who has knee tendonitis is scheduled to start.

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