In the midst of a fantastic Flyers playoff run, and the Phillies first West Coast trip of the season, the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers are in the thick of a playoff push shouldn't be overlooked. The Sixers were dropped a very winable game last night to the shorthamded Orlando Magic, 113-100.
Jrue Holiday's 18 points and 8 assists led the way but wasn't enough to take down the Dwight Howard-less Magic.
So what does Monday's loss mean for the Sixers and their push for the postseason? With the loss, the Sixers dropped down to the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.
If the playoffs started today, we would have to face the Chicago Bulls in the first round. The Bulls are currently the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, and they are certainly not a team a team the Sixers match up well against. If the Sixers want to make any type of splash in the postseason, they need to get hot, and start winning some games to finish the regular season in a higher seed.
They have six games remaing in the regular season, with their final home game being tonight against the Indiana Pacers. After the final home game, the Sixers will finish out the season with 5 straight on the road.
The Sixers are a young team, and do have some talent with the likes of guys like Holiday, Turner and Williams. There was a great deal of experience gained during last year's first round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat for the young core of this team.
It's not just the fans that realize that the team needs to play better down the stretch; the players and coaching staff are well aware of that as well.
That playoff spot, while very likely, isn't set in stone. Regardless of whether or not they clinch, they absolutely cannot limp into the playoffs. They need to start playing with some tenacity and more intelligentl.
Here's to hoping that starts tonight at Wells Fargo Center.