The Sixers are currently in a tie for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. That sounds like they might be right on the border, but the problem is that they are four games back of the eighth spot.
Four games is quite a bit of ground to make up.
That only means that Philly needs to look forward and understand what steps are necessary for moving up one more spot and getting into the playoffs.
Here's a look at what the Sixers must do between now and the start of the postseason.
Move Past Trade Talk
The NBA trade deadline just passed, yet there is still quite a bit of talk about what the Sixers should or shouldn't have done.
In particular, the biggest potential deal would have sent Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith. In fact, there was even a rumor going around stating that the Hawks went as far as approaching Philadelphia with the deal.
You can look back at my older articles and see that even I was a fan of this deal taking place. It just made sense in so many ways. Everything from Smith's defense to his poor shot selection would have been a perfect fit in Philly and their system, but guess what?
The deal didn't happen!
Dwelling on the past and what could have been is always easy to do. There just seems like so many possibilities that the past is all you can think about.
The problem is that thinking like that won't help anybody or move the team in a positive direction.
It might even hurt them more.
The playoffs are right around the corner and the first step toward making them involves forgetting about the trade deadline and everything that went with it.
Just move forward.
This category could be a million-word essay on how Andrew Bynum's absence has left the team in a state of peril, but we'll save your eyes the effort of reading that much. Instead, let's be concise and straight to the point about Bynum and his ongoing knee injuries.
It's time to get better buddy.
When it comes to injury rehabilitation, one of the most important aspects of it all comes down to not returning to the game before you are ready. There is almost nothing worse than sitting out for 10 months because of a torn ACL, then coming back to loads of anticipation, only to go down with the same or similar injury.
It happens way too often and always hurts to think about.
That being said, Bynum needs to be honest with the rest of the world about what's going on with his knees. It feels like he's teasing the Sixers organization by saying that he isn't too far away from coming back.
Why is it a tease? Probably because he's been saying that for the last four months.
It might be time to put it bluntly. Philadelphia isn't going to make the playoffs without him this year.
His health will either make or break that potential postseason run.
Trust Coach Collins
Go to every comment section relating to the Sixers on this website and you'll see users posting about how it's time for Philadelphia to get rid of their head coach, Doug Collins. People will continually back up those comments with statistics that quite honestly, make a lot of sense.
The only problem with all of this is that the Sixers are 55 games into the season.
Collins' job is clearly safe until the end of the season, so let's try and support what he is doing. Hating on him just doesn't make sense at this point.
He has done a lot of good and positive things for the franchise over the years, but he seems to be struggling at this moment. Let's just wait and see how he closes out the year and evaluate everything at that point.
There is nothing wrong with criticizing how he's handling business or his players, but you're only repeating yourself when you do it this far into the season.
Whether you like it or not, Collins is going to be the guy that either takes Philly to the postseason or fails to do so.
For all of the fans' sake, let's just trust him and see what happens.
If things haven't gotten better by the end of the playoffs, then go nuts trying to say that he should be fired.
Chances are pretty strong that your wish will come true if that's the case.
Last, but certainly not least, is to win. The Sixers need to win and they need to do it as soon possible.
There are 27 games remaining, and while that doesn't seem like much, 27 remaining contests is a big enough number for Philadelphia to make a move. A move that puts them into the postseason.
This last category can't be accomplished without the first three taking place, though.
We'll all just have to wait and see.
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