Philadelphia 76ers magic number 3

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 12: Head coach Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to Amir Johnson
PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 12: Head coach Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to Amir Johnson /

Things have improved dramatically for the Philadelphia 76ers. Fans now focus on that magic number into the NBA Playoffs. Right now, it’s down to three

The Philadelphia 76ers have a great deal of interest in numerology this time of the year. Typically, it’s the number representing where the team will select in the 2018 NBA Draft.  But this year, the number fans have focused upon has nothing to do with the NBA draft. But rather what is the magic number to get the team into the NBA Playoffs?

Right now, the team is 40-30. Their closest rival, the Detroit Pistons, are at 32-39. So the magic number is simply the number of 76ers wins and/or Pistons losses which assure the Philadelphia 76ers their first trip to the NBA Playoffs.

And so,  that magic number is three. If the Philadelphia 76ers win three of their remaining 12 games, they finish this season at 43-39. Even if The Detroit Pistons win out, they end up at 43-39. By tie-breaker rules, the 76ers swept the Pistons, and they go on to postseason action. The same is true if the Piston lose three more games this season.  Once more, they would end the season at 40-42. The Philadelphia 76ers could lose all remaining 12 games and end up in a tie at 40-42. Once more, the Sixers win the tie.

Home court advantage

Now, the Philadelphia 76ers cannot be content to just make it to the playoffs.  The team cannot enter the playoffs with a losing streak like that. There is still the strong possibility of landing home-court advantage.  With the Indiana Pacers losing on the road to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Philadelphia 76ers are now in a three-way tie for the 4-seed in the NBA Eastern Conference.

With the Washington Wizards on the road at San Antonio, the night could end with a two-way tie for the 4-seed and the ever important home court advantage in the NBA Playoffs. As of today, the Philadelphia 76ers are a dominating 23-11 in Philly, but a sub-.500 17-19 on the road. Even if the team wins all five remaining road games, they end the season barely better than .500 at 22-19.

The team no NBA team truly wants to face in the playoffs

The win against the Memphis Grizzlies was as much about Philly wanting the victory as the Grizzlies wanting to land in a better position for the upcoming NBA Draft. Philadelphia 76ers fans get that. But the win is one more game behind the team, and it lands in the W column. Should the 76ers claim the 4-seed, it will be unlikely that they surrender it. Right now, their schedule appears to favor them through season’s end. In the end, the Spurs defeated the Wizards. The Philadelphia 76ers are the 4-seed. And that translates into home court advantage.

Next: RECAP: Philadelphia 76ers 119, Memphis Grizzlies 105

All bets are off now that the Philadelphia 76ers have home court advantage in their first playoff appearance under Head Coach Brett Brown.  Not only are the 76ers an unknown, but the team has a track record of learning from past mistakes overnight. And Brown, despite his record so far with an outmanned Sixers team, has plenty of coaching chops to win one-game-at-a-time in a playoff setting. With home court, the Sixers first round opponent is either the Pacers or Wizards. And with four games at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers have a good chance of advancing.