Thursday, July 2, 2015

Atlantic Division still Sixers' to lose

Here's what we learned Wednesday night: The Atlantic Division is still very much in the 76ers' hands.

Atlantic Division still Sixers' to lose

0 comments
Andre Iguodala closes in on Paul Pierce after a scramble for a loose ball in the first half. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)
Andre Iguodala closes in on Paul Pierce after a scramble for a loose ball in the first half. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

Here's what we learned Wednesday night: The Atlantic Division is still very much in the 76ers' hands.

It's not that the Sixers are the best team. They may be, they may not. Better than the Celtics of Garnett, Allen, Pierce and Rondo? Too close to call really, especially since it would be tough to name a fifth Celtics player in 5 seconds or less.

But this season has shown the Atlantic to be up for grabs, and the Sixers have done by far the most grabbing so far. And while it's no certainty they'll finish the job, it's a complete certainty that their chief rivals -- the Celtics and Knicks -- are in no way ready to overtake them.

Let's focus on Wednesday's foe, Boston, a heavyweight of the Eastern Conference since they brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen before the 2007-08 season. The Celtics have slipped a lot this season. They're still dangerous from night to night, and when you throw in Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, they have an elite top four players in their lineup and are dangerous on any night.

More coverage
 
POLL: Which GM do you have more faith in?
 
Sixers' 2015 NBA Draft picks
 
VOTE: Were you happy with the 76ers top pick?
 
POLL: Thumbs up or down on the 76ers draft?
 
Forum: Does Hinkie have 76ers on right track?
 
Buy 76ers jerseys, memorabilia, and other gear
 
Latest Sixers videos

An NBA title, however, is well outside Boston's grasp. The next domino to fall was going to be the division, and it might as well be the Sixers who take advantage in this truncated season.

It looked for a while like they might run away with the Atlantic, but the schedule got predictably tough and Boston made a predictable run. Which may still finish with the Celtics overtaking the 76ers before the season ends. But don't count on it. This just in from South Philly: Boston's not that good anymore, and the Sixers can stop looking over their shoulders in fear.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter