The numbers come at you so quickly, they are sometimes difficult to decipher. This season the 76ers are 10-2 at home following Saturday’s 95-74 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Each of the 10 wins has been by double figures and the average margin of victory has been 21 points.
Both home losses were in overtime, to the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets. So there is not much separating the Sixers from being 12-0 at home.
To demonstrate how much progress the Sixers have made, the quality of the opposition which has invaded the Wells Fargo Center has been questioned, and rightly so.
It used to be that the fans would be satisfied against a win over anybody, but the Sixers are past that point.
So in looking at their 10 home victories, only two have cone over teams with winning records, a 96-86 win over Indiana and a 90-76 triumph over Atlanta.
The Sixers have two home wins each against Detroit and Washington, which are a combined 8-33.
Yet despite this week where Orlando, Chicago and Miami will come to town, Sixers coach Doug Collins isn’t apologizing for the home record or the competition to date.
“You play the teams in front of you,” Collins said. “We’ve got 10 home wins. It doesn’t matter if you get them in April, February, March, doesn’t matter.”
And apparently it doesn’t matter who they are against.
Collins doesn’t have blinders on. He understands what is coming up, but before the game he talked about the parity in the NBA, saying that other than the top two or three teams, little separates many of the others.
One could beg to differ with that assessment since there are a few teams at the bottom who will help most opponents' home or away record.
Yet Collins talks about the task at hand and he says it’s imperative that the Sixers keep it up, regardless of the opponent.
“Win at home and that’s what we’ve got to try to keep doing,” he said. “We know we’ve got some great teams coming in. We’ve just got to be ready to play.”
That is the key. Beat the teams that are supposed to be defeated and fight the others as hard as possible.
In looking at it, the Sixers (14-6) have lost to just two teams that have losing records – New York and New Jersey.
Few would have thought that New York would be 7-13 at this point, while New Jersey has actually exceeded expectations by being 7-13 as well.
Good teams will always lose to opponents with inferior talent.
How can one explain Washington defeating Oklahoma City?
It’s just that the most successful teams limit this type of unforeseen damage.
So far the Sixers have done this, which is why they have gotten off to such a good start.
In short, they have done what good teams have to do. Now we will see this week if they are able to take it up a notch, against a noticeably different home schedule.