Philadelphia 76ers likely NBA Playoff opponents

Markelle Fultz | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Markelle Fultz | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers (5-seed) versus Philadelphia 76ers (4-seed)

The 4-seed team gets the home court advantage in the best of seven series in the NBA Playoffs. And the Philadelphia 76ers are a far improved team at home. That could make all the difference in this series, since the Philadelphia 76ers now face a playoff scenario without star center Joel Embiid.

In the regular season, The Pacers won the series 2-1 against the Sixers, despite the series playing two games in Philadelphia. The last loss, a true test of the 76ers ability to play in a postseason-like atmosphere, deflated the mood in Philly temporarily.  But that game was a springboard for the team’s current nine-game winning streak.

Best of seven – 76ers in seven

The win-or-go-home style of basketball is tough to adapt to, and the Philadelphia 76ers have never faced that as a team. But this team adapts rather quickly. You see, regular season games are about sticking to a scheme, the playbook. In the NBA Playoffs, teams must take away from their opponent, and take whatever the other team gives them. Phiadelphia 76ers’ head coach Brett Brown has shown some savvy at this. But the playoffs will prove to be his toughest test yet.

The Pacers lost one game to the Philadelphia 76ers when Philly shot 50 percent from the perimeter. And without Joel Embiid’s presence in the paint, that could prove to be a difficult plateau to achieve. Still, the Sixers are finding Ersan Ilyasova serviceable in a relief role for Embiid, and Saric, Covington, Redick, Belinelli, and now Fultz can salvo the Pacers. Defensively, the 76ers have done a great job against Victor Oladipo. If they can contain Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis to a combined under-24-points in the series, they can pull out a best of seven. But it won’t be pretty at first.