OK, so the Sixers have 26 games remaining, the trade deadline coming, and hopefully a playoff run on the way. So let’s break down what the rest of the season has in store for the Sixers.
First off, here’s some factoids about the schedule:
- The Sixers have 11 games remaining against teams currently over .500, including 5 against the top 3 teams in the East (Miami, Boston, and Chicago).
- Which in turn leaves the Sixers with 15 games against teams below .500, including a stretch of three against Washington, Detroit, and Cleveland right after the all-star break. Then after a game against the very tough Dallas Mavericks team, they get to pounce on Minnesota again. A good stretch for the Sixers should leave them a game over .500.
- The toughest stretch remaining is a 5-day mostly Western Conference road trip, mainly due to the road-ness of it all. While they play 5 games in 8 days, two are very winnable (Sacramento and Milwaukee) and the other three aren’t impossible (LA Clippers, Utah, and Portland).
- The last 4 games of the season come at home – if the city will get completely behind the team, it will show during that stretch.
- Against direct playoff competitors, the Sixers only have 2 games: 1 each versus Indiana and New York.
Now, for some trends to look for:
- Andre Iguodala at the point-forward: look for it to continue. Recently, Andre has struggled with his shooting, but he’s still be productive in the other facets of the game – passing, rebounding, and especially defending.
- The Sixers haven’t had one of their late-game breakdowns in a while. These things are easier to predict than you think – while earlier this year fans not unlike myself knew when the collapses were coming, things haven’t felt the same way recently. The last meltdown occurred a little less than a month ago against Memphis (the 15 turnovers in 15 minutes game). Hopefully that’s the last one we’ll see this year.
- Watch for Lou Williams to be the leading scorer for the Sixers for the rest of the season. Just my prediction. I believe Lou can still increase his FG% more than he has to this point, and a 20-point scorer is one thing that the Sixers do lack. Lou won’t score THAT much, but he can get 16-17 a game, especially over a short stretch where his scoring will be crucial to the team’s success.
So the Sixers have an easy schedule and currently a 27-29 record. Where will they finish? Take this with a grain of salt: my guess is with 42-43 wins, and the 6th seed in the East.