With the Philadelphia 76ers struggling a bit down the stretch, there has been some speculation arising that they may not make the playoffs. Although there is need for improvement in numerous areas, it's safe to assume that they'll be playing in the postseason.
Granted, if the Sixers had been playing the whole season the way they are playing now, they'd most likely be looking at a lottery pick. Fortunately, they started the season on fire.
Now they find themselves in a predicament just barely holding onto a playoff spot at the end of the season, but I think they'll climb out of it.
In case you didn't know, the Sixers gained a lot of momentum about 20 games into last season and then hit a wall finishing with an inconsistent 11-12 record. Yet, they still made the playoffs.
True, they did end up playing the Miami Heat, which is who the Sixers need to avoid, but they made it. From the way things stand now, the Sixers would be playing the Chicago Bulls, and they should try to keep it that way.
The Sixers found themselves in this hole at the same time last year and fought their way out of it. Fortunately for them, history repeats itself.
Say what you want about the offense, but the defense has remained stellar. The Sixers still have the top defense in the league holding teams to just 88.3 points per game. In this league, that's really impressive.
Although this team has liabilities on offense, they will always stay consistent on the defensive end. Defense has been the number one thing enforced since day one, and it's where the Sixers win their games.
If the way they win games is still effective, then they'll definitely find themselves a spot in the playoffs.
Right now the Sixers are tied for the eighth seed with the New York Knicks. With just five games left, there's a chance someone outside the playoff picture will catch them.
Many have proposed the Bucks, who are just two games back. This is understandable and they do have a schedule they can take advantage of, but I just don't see the Sixers completely tanking and the Bucks winning out their games.
With a lot of people worrying about the Sixers not making the playoffs, they're still in reach of moving up. Not to say that they will, but there's still a chance.
The real deciding factor will come down in the second-to-last game of the season where these two teams will face off.
It certainly won't be easy, but don't rule them out just yet. They have the ability to be in control of the situation since they hold the playoff spot.
With five games left, the Sixers have a big test against their ability to show up when it all matters. Playing the Pacers twice and the Bucks once, this is a great opportunity for them to prove themselves worthy of the playoffs.
Although they have slacked, I ask you, Sixers fans, to keep the faith in this team. They have the ability to win—we've seen how good they can be. Don't fear, Sixers fans, because there will be playoff basketball this season.