Mar 31, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand (42) reacts to being called for a foul during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Hawks 95-90. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

April Aberration

Let’s talk about the title first. April Aberration? Well March is known for being March Madness in the basketball world (at least college). So I wanted to try it for April too. So I grabbed my handy dandy Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus and looked up “Madness”. I knew it would only be cool if it started with an “A” to go along with April just as “M” for March and Madness. And the first word on the list was “Aberration”. And so, April Aberration was born.

I mean look at the image I used for this post. Even Elton knows this month is gonna be ca-razy! Or maybe he’s acting like a mime who just smashed his face against a window or some sort of glass. Maybe there really is glass there. A picture really is worth a thousand words. I’m just happy I have access to photos like this. Thank you camera men and women!

We should do this more often. But, this season was a bit more intense since there are a lot more games in April than normal. Today, we’ll look at the month of April from the Sixers’ standpoint. What does the rest of the schedule look like? Which seed will they finish at? Ending record? I will give my answers to these questions and more.

Remaining Schedule

Sixers have 14 games over the course of 24 days. 4 back-backs. We have a back-back-back in there too. 10 of those games are on the road (simple math says 4 are at home). Talk about your aberration. Here are the teams they face (back-backs and back-back-backs will be in parenthesis): (@Heat, vs Raptors), (vs Magic, @Celtics), (@Nets, @Raptors), vs Nets, (@Magic, vs Pacers, @Cavaliers), @Pacers, @Nets, (@Bucks, and @Pistons).

Battle for the Atlantic

I put that Celtics game in bold since that game may be the biggest one. The way I see it, the winner of that game takes the Atlantic division championship. Right now, Celtics are up one game ahead the Sixers. By the time the two teams meet again, it will probably be the same distance give or take .5 difference. Sixers have 3 games before then and Celtics have 3 games as well. Sixers need to take advantage of this. Celtics face Spurs, Bulls, and Pacers. Compare that to Sixers’ 3 games and you would be upset if Sixers couldn’t gain at least a half game on the Celtics this week.

As I have said before, I felt like if Sixers fell from 1st in division, they wouldn’t be able to get back on top. Here, I will finally explain what I mean by that. I saw it as the only way Sixers lose their divisional lead is if they had a big collapse. And that’s exactly what happened. Sixers have lost their intensity and show no real signs of getting it back. The schedule will drain them of energy and intensity. I just don’t think they can pull it off. But, beating the Celtics will bring them close or even back into the lead. On paper, Sixers shouldn’t lose to Nets, Raptors, Cavaliers, Pistons and Bucks. That’s 8 games right there. But, with the way the Sixers and the season has been going, they will lose a few of those games. We need to brace ourselves for that. That Wizards game taught me that. I mean I had always thought about that but just like cement needs hours to finally dry, I need more and more games before it finally sunk in for me that upsets like that can happen in this type of season. Not an overnight conclusion type thing.

Final Standings

All terrible analogies aside, I think Sixers finish with at least 6 more wins. I see a range of 6-10 wins though. If Sixers don’t win division, it doesn’t mean they have to face Bulls or Heat in 1st round and become the league sacrificial lambs. They are also one game behind 6th place Hawks and 2 games behind Pacers. And Sixers have the chance to catch the Pacers especially since they face the Pacers two times this month. A tie with Hawks wouldn’t matter since Sixers swept the season series. So yeah, Sixers can move up without division championship. Does that mean they will move up? I’m not too sure on that. But on paper this team can move up. Sixers are down 2.5 the 3rd place Magic. Sixers face Magic twice. The chance is small but Sixers could sneak back up to 3rd place in the standings.

So really, the Sixers will either stay in 7th or can move up to as high as 3rd place. If the Sixers regain their intensity, it’s possible. Teams probably won’t know which seed they are until the last few games of the season. Maybe even the last game of the season. The range is only 2.5 games so teams could move.

But it’s time to make my prediction. No more hiding in the shadows. I think Sixers will move to at least 6th place. Not too convinced they win division. I’d need the Celtics game before I can make up mind. Sean will be taking a deeper look into the divisional race. Me? This post is just to give you an idea of different scenarios as the where the Sixers could end up come playoff time. And yes, I strongly believe Sixers will make the playoffs. But where? Well, when the Sixers officially lock up a playoff spot, I’ll look at each possible opponent the Sixers could face and if they have a chance. I say Sixers can beat anybody in the East but Bulls and Heat.

Yeah so my final prediction is 6th place. Obviously if they win division it’ll be 4th. Doubt they reach Magic for 3rd place. So 6th or 4th is where Sixers end up to end season.

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