Sixers vs. Pacers: 3 things to watch for in first seeding game

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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Sixers are back, baby!

After four months of sustained isolation and apocalyptic visions, NBA basketball is finally back. And on today, the faithful first day of August 2020, the Philadelphia 76ers are back. Really back. And back for a consequential game, no less.

The Sixers will face the Indiana Pacers in a battle for the No. 5 seed. Both teams currently hold the same record — 39-26 — but the tiebreaker belongs to Indy. A win would push Philadelphia into the No. 5 seed, while a loss would place them a game behind in sixth.

While many have opined about the Sixers’ preferred seeding arrangements, intentional losses are seldom a good idea. So while the sixth seed many seem better on paper, the Sixers — a team in desperate need of continuity and momentum — should look to win as many games as possible before the postseason.

Home-court advantage is also a real thing inside the bubble. And while nothing can replicate the raucous environment of a full Wells Fargo Center — nor will anything replicate the harsh terrain of a true road contest — it can’t hurt to have the 76ers logo splayed across the gym more times than not.

The Sixers and Pacers play tonight, August 1 at 7:00 PM E.T. on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBA League Pass. Here’s what you should watch for.

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