The Philadelphia 76ers have been up one day and down the next. That’s the way it’s been going for them. A week, ago, the Sixers lost to the Washington Wizards, a team that will be on vacation at the end of this month. Then, come home and beat the Atlanta Hawks, which happen to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. After that, they go down to Miami and drop a game to the Heat that they should have won. The following night, the Sixers lose to another team like the Wizards (Toronto Raptors), who will miss the playoffs this season.
Obviously, the team lacks a lot of consistency right now. The team is not playing well. Doug Collins, Sixers head coach, is scratching his head for answers. Collins is trying to figure things out. He does know one thing: The Sixers have to get back to doing the things that helped them get off to a good start. That’s playing good defense, taking care of the ball, rebounding and getting the loose balls.
That’s how this team is built. The foundation is centered on the basic fundamentals. If they do all the above, they’ll have a chance in every game. They don’t rely on individual talent. It’s a team effort. The team is struggling. They have to find a way to get back on track. It’s not going to be easy. Collins knows that.
“At some point and time you have to dig in,” Collins said. “That’s all, you have to dig in and get it done. That’s what you do. It’s a tough league. Nobody is going to give you anything. You have to take it.”
The Sixers are 29-25 and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They’re a game and a half behind the Boston Celtics in the race for the Atlantic Division title.
The Sixers need to win the division. That would put them in fourth place, which means they would more than likely play the Indiana Pacers in the first round. By the way, the Pacers are not an easy team. They have some great players such as Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert. If they finish in seventh place, the Sixers will have to battle last year’s playoff opponent the Miami Heat. They don’t want to do that. Miami eliminated the Sixers in five games last year. The Heat have won all four meetings with the Sixers this season, three in convincing fashion.
Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. The Sixers have a big weekend of action with the Orlando Magic at home on Saturday night and with the Boston Celtics on Easter Sunday afternoon. The Sixers have 12 games left on their schedule. The Celtics also have 12 games remaining. Some of these games will be tough. Boston plays Indiana, Miami twice, Atlanta twice, Orlando and New York. Things could get real interesting between the Sixers and Celtics. Plus, the Sixers hold the tie breaker between the two teams. With that in mind, don’t expect to see the Collins doing any scoreboard watching.
“You have to take care of your own business,” Collins said. “It doesn’t do you any good to scoreboard watch if we don’t win.”
The Sixers need to win.