When the Sixers lost last Tuesday to the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers, that seemingly ended their chances of advancing to the quarterfinals of the inaugural In-Season Tournament. After the loss, Patrick Beverley told reporters he was “mad as [expletive]” because he “wanted to go to Vegas” for the semifinals.
Fret not, PatBev. The Sixers aren’t mathematically eliminated from the In-Season Tournament yet. With that said, they need a lot to go right for them Tuesday.
The Indiana Pacers have already clinched Group A with a 4-0 record, so the Sixers are only alive for the Eastern Conference’s wild-card spot. They’re 2-2 with a plus-9 point differential, which is the tiebreaker for teams with identical records.
According to the NBA, here’s what Sixers fans should be rooting for Tuesday night:
- Atlanta Hawks to beat Cleveland Cavaliers
- Charlotte Hornets to beat New York Knicks
- Milwaukee Bucks to beat Miami Heat
- Chicago Bulls to beat Boston Celtics
- Toronto Raptors to beat Brooklyn Nets
In that scenario, all seven of the Sixers, Hawks, Cavaliers, Knicks, Heat, Celtics and Nets would be tied at 2-2. From there, it would come down to point differential.
Of that group, the Knicks (plus-18), Heat (plus-11) and Nets (plus-8) are in the best shape for now. The Cavaliers (plus-6), Celtics (zero) and Hawks (minus-9) could be in trouble if the point-differential tiebreaker comes into play.
The Bucks are 3-0 and have a plus-39 point differential, so if the Heat beat them, they’ll still be in good shape for the wild-card spot. A lopsided loss to Miami combined with a blowout Celtics win over the Bulls could allow Boston to sneak past them, though.
Now, no one should go gambling their mortgage on the 5-13 Bulls to beat the 13-4 Celtics or the 5-10 Hornets to beat the 9-7 Knicks. In all likelihood, the Sixers’ In-Season Tournament hopes will be over by roughly 10 p.m. ET tonight.
If that’s the case, at least we know the culprit: their eyesore of a court.