Not only have the 76ers clinched a playoff spot with a week remaining in the regular season, but they have also clinched a top 4 seed, meaning that they will have home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. However, with the 5-8 seeds in flux, the 76ers are uncertain on who they will face when the playoffs start next week. These four teams are very different, and the 76ers have had varying results against these teams. Who seems like the best matchup for them?
#5 Seed Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are pretty much locked in at this spot with only one game to go, so the 76ers would have to fall to the #4 for this matchup to happen (the 76ers are one game up on the Cavaliers for #3).
Pros: Despite playing like an all star, the 76ers have done a great job containing Victor Oladipo in their three games this season, holding him to shooting under 40% from the field, and 2/13 from three point range.
Cons: The 76ers went 1-2 in the three games against the Pacers including a rare home loss and trailed at halftime in all three of those games.
#6 Seed Miami Heat: The Heat are currently in the 6 spot via tiebreaker with the Milwaukee Bucks with two games to play (vs. Thunder, vs. Raptors) . The Heat and 76ers split the season series 2-2, each winning their two at home.
Pros: The 76ers have stifled the starting forwards of the Miami Heat throughout the season, with Josh Richardson and Justice Winslow being extremely ineffective in all four of the games this season.
Cons: Although the Whiteside-Embiid rivalry has been extremely fun to watch, in the three games that Embiid played of the four game series, Embiid finished with 5 fouls all three times. He has yet to top 31 minutes in a game against the Heat due to the foul difficulty.
#7 Seed Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks sit at the same record as the Heat with two games to play (vs. Magic, @ 76ers)
Pros: The Bucks bench has been relatively ineffective against the 76ers, averaging less than 25 bench points per game in the three contests, so far.
Cons: The 76ers are 1-2 against the Bucks, with their one win without Giannis and Jabari Parker. This team has yet to beat Milwaukee at full strength.
#8 Seed Washington Wizards: The Wizards are one game back of the Bucks and Heat with 2 games to play (vs. Celtics, @ Magic). They are limping to the finish having lost four straight, and have split the series with the 76ers 2-2, each winning their two at home.
Pros: The Wizards have no match for Joel Embiid. He has scored 25+ points three of the four games they have played.
Cons: Unfortunately, it seems that the 76ers have no match for Bradley Beal, as he has consistently torched them averaging exactly 25 per game against them.