The Sixers started last week off with a pair of impressive wins, including a 120-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans (who came into the game with a 23-13 record), and a 129-126 overtime win over the 21-17 Indiana Pacers.
Those will be the last two games the Sixers play against above-.500 teams in quite a bit. In fact, based on today's standings the Sixers won't meet a team with a winning record until they travel to Sacramento on January 21st, giving the Sixers some time to bank some wins and climb up the Eastern Conference standings, where they find themselves three losses back from the Boston Celtics at the top.
That stretch against losing teams didn't start of all that well, as Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls shredded the Sixers' defense to the tune of 134 points per 100 possessions, their worst defensive performance of the season. But the Sixers bounced back with a stress-free win over the hapless Detroit Pistons on Sunday night, the same team they will play again tonight, this time at the Wells Fargo Center.
I wrote last week that the Sixers finally appear to have all of their core players back. Then Embiid missed three games with a sore left foot and PJ Tucker came down with a non-covid illness. But Embiid has been upgraded to questionable and Tucker probable for tonight's game against the Pistons, so perhaps we will actually get to see more of what the team looks like at full strength. Being this deep into the season (we're almost halfway done!) and still only having 141 minutes of Embiid, Maxey, Harden and Harris on the floor together is pretty wild.
- Overview of the Sixers' week.
- A look at the week ahead.
- Encouraging trends.
- Concerning trends.
- Stray thoughts.