Sixers and Celtics Tied Atop Atlantic Division

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

So after 50 games, we've got a pretty good assessment of where the Sixers are. They stand at a very respectable 28-22, tied with the archaic Boston Celtics at the top of the Atlantic Division. Record-wise, they're the 7th best team in the East, so winning the Atlantic and getting the 4-seed would be huge if they're hoping to win a playoff series.

Strange as it is to say, there are only 16 games left in the NBA season. The lockout has accelerated the bijesus out of it and we're in the fourth quarter of the NBA year. Hopefully the Sixers can close out. In their final 16 games (what I like to call a Plummer's Dozen), 11 of them are on the road, and 7 of them are against teams over .500. Strangely enough, each of these games are against teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics, meanwhile, have 10 games against teams over .500, including a stretch that begins after tonight's game against the Timberwolves, that has them facing 7 straight teams with a winning record. With their old, tired, crampy legs, that could be crippling down the stretch. Both teams end the season on April 26th, and the Sixers hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.

The stage is set. Who comes out with the division crown and a gifted matchup against the Pacers or Hawks, while the other faces the Miami Heat gauntlet? Strange side note, Yahoo! has the Sixers having clinched a playoff birth but, uh, that's not correct.

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