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Moving Forward and Looking Back

After a 5-game losing streak, Sixers' fans yet again feel disappointed, but hopefully things will turn around.

The first half of the shortened 2011-12 NBA season is officially in the books and at 20-14, the Philadelphia 76ers are in first place by three and a half games in the Atlantic division and are currently the 4th seed in the playoffs.

Despite their status atop the division, number-one ranked defense, and first All-Star representative (Andre Iguodala) since Allen Iverson, Sixers’ fans’ enthusiasm has simmered down considerably the past few weeks, and rightfully so; the Sixers limped into the All-Star break, losing five consecutive games, the worst of their season.

Injuries finally caught up to the Sixers, as Spencer Hawes, Elton Brand, and Nikola Vucevic have all been banged up at some point during the season, thinning the front line. All three are expected to be relatively healthy soon, and hopefully for Tuesday’s night game at the struggling Detroit Pistons. As you may have heard, the Sixers are 12-2 when Spencer Hawes starts but are 8-12 when Hawes is out. That stat may be somewhat misleading because of the varied competition the Sixers have faced, but the return of Hawes should give a significant boost to the Sixers’ struggling offense.

Before the season, I had predicted the Sixers to win at least 30 games, due to the shortened season and their 41-41 season in 2010-2011. At 20-14, the Sixers would have to go 10-22 to win at least 30 games, which is very doable. Of course, that’s the pessimistic situation and this five-game losing streak should only be a small black dot on a pleasantly surprising season. Here’s a brief overview for the second half of the season for the Philadelphia 76ers:

  • 32 games left in the season, including 7 on ESPN and 3 on NBA TV.
  • 8 back-to-back games (4 in April) and one back-to-back-to-back trio also in April. Just brutal.
  • 18 road games, including 5 consecutive road games to end the season, also brutal.
  • 12 games are against teams that are above .500, including notable ones like two against the Orlando Magic (22-13), two against the Chicago Bulls (27-8), two against the Miami Heat (27-7), three against the Indiana Pacers (21-12), and one each against the San Antonio Spurs (24-10) and Oklahoma City Thunder (27-7). Want more?

    In order to be considered a contending team, the Sixers need to shoot the ball better and work together as a team.

The second half is where the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders, as veteran teams across the NBA turn up the intensity. The first 34 games were somewhat easy for the Sixers but these last 32 games will be a struggle. Those days where the Sixers would quietly sneak up from behind and steal a win are most likely over, seeing as the rest of the league is starting to catch on.

However, winning streaks are still quite possible with a healthy squad and improved play by everyone, including guards Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday.

With the second half about to begin, I’m going to predict a final record of 40-26 for the Sixers, which means 20-12 in the second half. Vote on the poll and comment below with your thoughts: Do you think Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala could repeat their combined PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 174.8 during the All-Star weekend?

If they can, the Sixers will be a force to be reckoned with in the later rounds of the playoffs.

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Categories: 76ers, Editorial

Author:Curran Aiyer

Studying Finance, Business Analytics, and International Business at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University with a minor in Spanish. Aspiring to change the world by driving education and the importance of staying informed. Looking to share my learnings and knowledge on behavioral economics and how that correlates with investing in yourself wisely. Originally from Philadelphia and trusting the process.

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2 Comments on “Moving Forward and Looking Back”

  1. Graham Gaddes
    February 28, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    AWESOME article Curran, really insightful and I hope that the Sixers’ tough schedule doesn’t keep them from falling in the rankings.

    • Curran Aiyer
      February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      Thanks hopefully the Sixers can get back to the way they were playing

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