Sixers Lead

76ers to Find Out First Round Opponent Tonight


As the regular season comes to a close, NBA playoffs are right around the corner. The Sixers have the 3rd seed locked in, but still await their first round opponent. The Nets and Magic (both 41-40) are tied for 6th seed (BKN owns tiebreaker), so it’s a bit of a toss up. Looking at the numbers, it’s hard to say who the better match up would be.

Brooklyn Nets

In terms of the Nets, there are a couple challenges to address. Their names are Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell. It’s a split series between Brooklyn and Philadelphia and both teams have a few players that shine against one another. In their second matchup, Russell put up an impressive 38 points and their field goal percentage was 56.8%.

In their 3rd meeting, Dinwiddie shot a career high of 39 points and the Nets’ overall field goal percentage was 59.4%. The first three games against the Nets were a struggle but even in that struggle, the Sixers made some notable moves. As impressive as the Nets were in those games, they couldn’t stop Joel Embiid. In their 3rd meeting, Embiid had 33 points and a whopping 17 rebounds. In their most recent matchup, Embiid scored 39 points against them with 13 rebounds.

Another key player against the Nets this season was Jimmy Butler. In the second meeting, Butler had 34 points, 12 rebounds, and the iconic game winning triple.

Orlando Magic

Similarly to the Nets, the Sixers and Magic split their season series. The two guys to watch here are Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic. While the Sixers came out on top in their first meeting, Fournier dropped 31 points and Vucevic had 13 rebounds and 12 assists. Vucevic had 30 points in their second matchup and just short of 30 in their last game. In their third matchup, Fournier had a solid 25 points accompanied by 12 Vucevic assists.

Despite their numbers against Philadelphia, they still have to deal with Joel Embiid. JoJo scored 32 points, outdueling Fournier in their first match. He got his first career triple double in their second game that unfortunately resulted in a Sixers loss. Additionally, JJ Redick performs well against his former team. He dropped over 20 points in their two games against Orlando, while Embiid was the leading scorer in their final regular season game with 20.

Based on the stats, there’s no reason for the Sixers to lose the first round series against either team. There are advantages and disadvantages to playing both, but Philadelphia shouldn’t assume an easy victory over either. Brooklyn and Philadelphia are so close in proximity, so fans can easily attend both home and away games. On the other hand, playing Orlando could be fun, as it’s the new home for Markelle Fultz. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to determine who would be the bigger challenge for Philadelphia.


About Melissa Friedman

Temple University graduate and devoted Sixers fan. Trust the process!

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