(35-31, 3rd Atlantic Division, 8th Seed Eastern Conference)
Quite the grueling series finished up on Saturday night with the Boston Celtics, but the 76ers put up a fight for seven games, which is longer than most predicted. Even getting to the second round was not expected as for something the Sixers would do. But the first game of the playoffs featured Derrick Rose injuring himself for the Chicago Bulls, and the Sixers took advantage of that and won the first round. Credit the Sixers for doing that even if you want to throw out the excuse that the Bulls didn’t have Rose. You have to still go out and play the games, and the Sixers proved they were better the Bulls in that series by winning.
But how did the Sixers make it to the playoffs and get as far as they did? The Sixers were looking pretty strong in the first part of the season as they even put together a six game winning streak and finished the month of January sitting at 15-6. Great start for this type of team that didn’t feature any sort of superstar.
February wasn’t as kind as the Sixers hit a lull and a five game losing streak that hurt their performance from January. They did get some good wins against the Bulls, Hawks and Lakers, but that five game losing streak came at the hands of the Magic, Mavericks, Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Rockets.
March and April were up and down months as the Sixers would win some and lose some. But never seemed to get rolling. They did hit a four game winning streak right before the playoffs with a win coming against the Indiana Pacers.
They stumbled a bit into the playoffs as the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t quite catch the Sixers. And going into that first round, the Bulls looked so dominant, but all that changed once Rose goes down.
The Sixers lose that first game of the playoffs, but won the next three. Game two was quite the performance by Philly as they stormed back against the Bulls and won by 17. It took six games, but the Sixers got the job done and won 4-2.
Then came the Boston Celtics series, where each team won back and forth. The Sixers won game two with a one point win, and was part of history by playing in three straight one point playoff games. Very interesting stat right there.
They couldn’t quite finish the job as they lost to the Celtics in seven games, but still quite the successful playoff run for the Sixers and now they need to figure out what they can do to get over that hump. Maybe even finishing up a bit higher in the Eastern Conference as they look like to be one of the up and coming teams.