Road woes continue for the Sixers as they drop another game against their conference rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks. I can’t say I am surprised, I don’t know if anyone really is. This team can’t win on the road, and any game against the potential 70 win team will be tough.

It is a funny thing, really. Boasting the best home record in the league should not be followed up with one of the worst road records in the league. But, as I often say, “It’s the situation you’re dealing with.” This team can either cry about it, or be better. So just be better. 

That is so much easier said than done, but it’s the truth. Without home-court advantage, the Sixers are all but a guaranteed second-round exit, and that’s being generous. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, if only because of the exhaustive talent on this roster. But being as terrible as they are on the road, this team might be just barely able to scrape out three road wins in a playoff atmosphere. 

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (rear) passes around 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle (22) during an eventual loss for the 76ers in Atlanta.

At this point, the best-case scenario would be home-court advantage in the first round and playing the Bucks second round. Right now, the Heat are spiraling, so the fourth seed may be realistic, and then this team needs to set its eyes on the third seed.

And don’t blame the coach either. This team is too talented, too tested, not to know when to put their egos aside and work together. That is where Horford can come in. His contract is hefty, but when they signed him in the off-season, I was most excited for his basketball IQ and his ability to mentor Embiid to take it to that next level. But that is a discussion for a different day.

Now back to the point at hand, playoffs. I would be just about as comfortable with the fourth seed as the third, and you should be too. The idea of playing the Bucks second round is exciting to me. A fresh Embiid coming off a short first round against the fifth seed, whomever that may be, is a problem for Giannis. We have seen what they can do at home against Milwaukee, so scraping a couple of road wins together is doable, to win a four-game series.

So it may sound crazy, but to me, the best-case scenario (realistically) for this team would be home-court advantage in the first round, and facing the Bucks in the second round, with a fresh Embiid. There is no reason to push off the inevitable, a trip to the finals is only happening with a showdown in Milwaulkee.

We have seen what can happen when Embiid is pushed to his limits in the playoffs. All you have to do is look at game 6 against the Raptors in the second round last year. The big guy was forcing shots from three, with no strength left in his legs. He was willing shots outside his comfort zone because he didn’t have any gas in the tank left for posting up Marc Gasol. Now, he clearly is in better shape than he was last year, but why waste any energy against say, Daniel Thies, in the second round. Give Embiid Giannis, the sooner the better.

But the success in the second round is up in the air without home-court advantage in the first round. And say the Sixers pull together a three seed spot by the end of the regular season. At that point, they would have homecourt advantage only if they face the seventh seed in the second round. Either way, it’s not the situation you want to be in, but it’s the situation you’re dealing with, so be better.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hawkchil/public_html/wp-content/themes/Newspaper/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 997