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Sixers Stock Watch: Hopefully you ignored this series and bet the farm on Sixers stock last week

A 4-1 road trip has Sixers’ stock back on an upswing.

Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Sixersoutstanding road trip was a breath of fresh air. Our Sean Kennedy typed out a written embodiment of the bipolarity often inherent in our Sixers’ fan experience.

When the markets were last open to us, Tyrese Maxey had propelled the Sixers to victory on the road in Miami. That helped wash the taste out of our mouths from the heartbreaker they lost to Boston and the soul-crusher they dropped vs. the Miami Heat, just prior.

Then they go 4-1 on a tough brutal road trip. Their only loss was a dumb schedule trap that landed them in Dallas for the second of a back-to-back.

[Side bar rant: Why the NBA and some of its prominent members whine so much about strategic load management (y’know, the kind the Spurs and Raptors leaned on formulaically to win championships) while still deliberately scheduling these contests where a well-rested home team hosts a road-trippin’ team who played the prior night, maybe played five games in seven days, and probably can’t even remember what city they’re in hours before tip

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...sorry I accidentally face planted into my laptop laptop, where was I? Yes. It’s ludicrous and infuriating. Either make it a 52-game season or never whine about load management again.]

Let’s check the standings.


Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Sixers were five games behind the Bucks, and four games behind Boston a week ago. Now, they’re 1.5 games behind Boston for second and four games behind Milwaukee for first.

Thank Grant Williams for missing a pair of free throws. I don’t have data on this, but the Sixers (knock on so much wood) have been a really good free throw shooting team in clutch moments, haven’t they? Joel Embiid has been ice. Maxey just got the chance to put the Sixers up by four in Milwaukee after securing a crucial rebound. Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton and James Harden have drilled handfuls of clutch freebies to ice games. Submit your Ben Simmons jokes below in our replies.

League wide, per as well:

The Sixers have held strong as the league’s fourth-best team by overall record for weeks now.

Recycling our still applicable passage for the third week in a row:

“Glass half full: each of Harden, Maxey, and Embiid have missed chunks of time and somehow they’re still up there with the league leaders. Glass half empty: their schedule was soft and now gets much harder, their injury risk profile is still high, and they’re an older, less athletic group than their top foes.”

By the numbers

Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks

The top ten teams per offensive rating:

You can see that Philadelphia has the third-best offensive rating. After the 147-143 “track meet,” Embiid called it vs. Indiana, they had a chance to pad some offensive stats.

Last week they had the eighth-best offensive rating, so they move up five spots here, with that 116.6 points/100 number.

On the defensive end, things haven’t been quite as pretty.

Maybe some of it is weary legs, lagging efforts, Maxey’s presence back with the starting unit, P.J. Tucker and Tobias Harris missing time or playing at less than full strength, likely missing Matisse Thybulle’s presence there, but their defense hasn’t been up to par lately. Still, Philadelphia has the eighth-best defensive rating, the same as it was last week. They’ve allowed 112.4 points per 100 possessions.

But as some fans have pointed out, the team has the 29th-ranked defensive rating over their last five outings, (121.6) raising some alarms. In that same span, their offense ranks first, scorching net to the tune of 130.8 points/100. Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers will take that +9.1 net rating all day every day, but they may be a little nervous about the defense too.

Over on, Nate Silver’s algorithms give the Sixers a 10 percent shot to win the title.

And Daryl respects Nate’s models, but says he’s got some better data stuff in house:

Last week the Sixers only had an 8 percent shot to win it all. So they earned an extra two percent over the last three games. Philly bypasses both Golden State and the Grizzlies here. I’m curious if Silver’s model “knows about” Ja Morant’s looming suspension, or just lost some faith in the Grizz lately.

The 538 model projects Philly to finish with the three-seed heading into the playoffs, just two games behind Boston, and two games ahead of Cleveland. If that model forecasts corrently, the Sixers would host Brooklyn in the first round before potentially shipping up to Boston for the semi’s.

Isn’t it kind of maddening to think this team may well be the second-best group in the entire NBA but have to play the only team they can’t seem to beat (that being Boston) in the second round? That may have been the fate of the 2019 Rockets too.

[Side bar rant: Boston becoming this huge bugaboo for Philly is especially painful when you remember the Sixers a) could have drafted Jayson Tatum first overall, but chose Markelle Fultz b) could potentially, maybe (?) have acquired the pick Boston wound up using to select Jaylen Brown in a Jahlil Okafor blockbuster, c) could have drafted Robert Williams over Landry Shamet and d) could have drafted Grant Williams over Matisse Thybulle, e) dare I wonder about hanging onto Al Horford and a 2025 first round-pick?

Bottom line, there were a number of ways Philadelphia might have been able to at least limit the edge Boston has had over them. No single team benefitted more from the Sixers ill-advised Colangelo-Collaborative years than their perennial tormentor, the Celtics. So they need to exorcise some demons, slay some White Walkers, etc.] actually indicates the Sixers have the fifth-hardest remaining schedule:

Normally, we’d bemoan something like that but they’ve been sitting in the top spot of this dubious distinction for too long. Now the Spurs, Jazz, Suns and Blazers apparently have more arduous roads than Joel Embiid, James Harden and the gang.

Whoo hoo! But holy mackerel, is the Sixers’ schedule still hard.

According to, the Sixers have a 14.6 percent shot at one of the East’s top two seeds. Boston has the tie-breaker over them. Far more likely here is the 52.1 percent chance Philadelphia is given at landing the three seed. They’re given a 29.8 percent shot at a fourth seed, and a combined 3.7 percent chance at a lowly fifth or sixth.

So the third seed is more likely than other seeds, but still roughly just a coin flip.

Power rankings

Philadelphia 76ers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images’s power ranking came out after the Sixers beat the Bucks but before they knocked off the Pacers and Wolves. They landed fourth overall there, behind Milwaukee, Denver, and Boston in order. has it the exact same way.

Holding steady here since last week.


New York Knicks v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

Over on DraftKings, the oddsmakers were in fact impressed with the Sixers’ recent road trip apparently:

They were +1300 before the prime time win in Wisconsin over Giannis, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez. Prior to that win, they had the sixth best odds overall.

Today, they’ve shortened their odds to +1100, tied for the fifth-best odds, pulling even with Steph Curry and the Dubs.

Philadelphia peaked at +900 in early Feb. And they’ve hovered around this +1100 mark ever since.

Vegas still appears to think there’s a clear divide between the Celtics, Suns, Bucks and everyone else. But the Nuggets are just below that top tier, followed by the Sixers and Warriors in the next group. The Los Angeles Clippers have slipped, coincidentally following their acquisition of Russell Westbrook.

Buy, sell, hold?

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Tough one. I recommended we buy stock coming out of the All-Star break and that proved costly. Apologies. Then I recommended we hold steady last week, suggesting we not buy more. And we didn’t lose money here technically, but if you followed my (bad) advice, you sure didn’t profit over this three-game hot streak. Apologies again. They were ruthless and pure road warriors, and I simply didn’t see it coming.

We’re in the midst of witnessing an MVP season, we just have to hope they finish strong.

We’ll check in again after these three games:

Finally back in their own beds, at the crib, they’ll get to host a pair of teams that are both 31-34, led by two of the most #loyal stars in the NBA in Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal. We’ll get a Matisse Thybulle sighting.

You love their chances to win those two, but then they will not likely be favored vs. Donovan Mitchell’s Cavaliers. So figuring they go 2-1, with an outside shot at 3-0, we need to keep stepping on the gas here and buying some more Sixers’ stock.

Put on your James Harden sneakers, your Tyrese Maxey jersey, and start chanting MVP in any and all awkward venues around the greater Delaware Valley until we chant it into existence.

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