As I predicted 2-3 weeks ago, the Sixers will deliberately lose some games in order to not lock the 6th seed over NY.
With the Sixers ahead of NY by 2-3 games last week, they "deliberately" lost some games so as to not leave NY behind.
Hence, it wouldn't be surprising if the Sixers lose a few more games while NY also losses 3 out of its last 4 games against either NJ or Indiana (both are tough games as NY is the visiting eam), and against Chicago & Boston.
Ultimately, the Sixers have a much easier remaining games as compared to NY (the Sixers last 3 games are against very weak teams except Orlando), but they don't want to lock-up the 6th seed.
Because they want to face our beloved C's in the first round, not Miami!
But since Boston & Miami are fighting it out for the 2nd seed which will not be determined till the last game of the season since they have identical record...
....then the COWARDLYSixers/Doug Collins don't want to lock-up the 6th seed now, they will wait to see where we end-up.
If Boston appears to be locked for the 2nd seed, then the Sixers will be willing to give the 6th seed to NY so that they can get the 7th seed & face us.
Conversely, if Miami gets the 2nd seed, then the Sixers will win its last remaining easy games against very weak teams so as to get the 6th seed in order to avoid Miami & play #3 Boston.
But why does the Sixers wants Boston instead of Miami?
Because they match better with us & that's why they played us close this year & that we're an aging team whereas Miami, they are a young team that is just better than the Sixers.
And so, the Sixers/Doug Collins thinks they have a better chance for an upset against Boston because all they have to do is to outlast us with their youth.
If a "Sixers-Celtics series" goes long, then the Sixers think they can outlast us & pull an upset over an aging Celtic team.
And that's why the Sixers are COWARDLY not locking-up the 6th, expect them to [deliberately] lose games as NY losses theirs.
But if NY wins their tough remaining games, expect the Sixers to also win their easy remaining games so that they can position themselves into facing us for the 1st round, not Miami.
Should we be concerned of the Sixers?
Well, for one thing, NY is the easier 1st round opponent for us as evidenced by our last game against them in MSG.
With Melo & Amare only the 2 guys to worry about since Billups is now much slower & thus, an easier match for Rondo making Rondo quite effective in running our game & making it easy for our starters to effectively play their game (as evidenced by that MSG game +2 weeks ago)...
...our guys then can contain Melo & Amare well as evidenced by that game in MSG!
And with Rondo quite effective against the aging Billups, Pierce then gets deadly (as evidence by that game) which makes it difficult for Melo while KG & BBD also gets their game going making it very difficult for Amare.
Then we have Ray whom NY has no answer for. Ray also can get going once Rondo has his "A game."
And though NY has been on a "3 game winning streak" lately, they played weak teams!
And though people will say that the game in MSG +2 weeks ago is not a "barometer" for a possible Boston-NY series...
... it really is a "barometer" because NY is pretty much that same team we beat & we easily able to turn our "A game" on compliments of Rondo's favorable match-up against the aging Billups.
Since NY doesn't play any D while we only have to deal with 2 guys (Amare & Melo), Rondo then can really get his "A game" going against a much slower Billups.
When Rondo gets going, then we're very hard to beat since he brings out the best in our starters.
And that's why NY is the best match-up for us, it will be a short series thereby giving our veteran guys the much needed rest for the next rounds.
Moreover, a match against NY will get us off to our "A game" rightaway compliments of Rondo which will then carry on to the next round, we won't be tired going into the 2nd round.
And that's why it is very important not to advance being tired deeper into the playoffs.
But a series with Philly will be a NIGHTMARE because eventhough we can beat them, it won't be easy as beating NY, it will be a very long & tiring series!
In Philly, you have a more capable coach in terms of the "X & O's" of the game unlike D'Antoni's helter-skelter, "all offense, no defense" style of game which is easy to beat in the playoffs.
In Philly, we will get drawn-out to a very long, extremely exhausting series which will zap our energy for round 2 against a young & formidabble Heat team.
Whereas a series with NY will not only be short but more importantly, can get us in our "A game" mode rightaway putting us in a very strong position come round 2 against the Heat.
But the Sixers right now appears to be really determined to facing us in the playoffs & not Miami & thus, they are not locking-up the 6th seed now (when they really can!) in order to see which seed we will get, then they will determine their own seeding so as to face us.
Aaaahhh, those freakin' Fixers!!! - John Prester.