The Eastern Conference Needs to Run Through Philadelphia
The Sixers are in a close battle with the Brooklyn Nets for the 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with just 18 games remaining on the season. Both teams currently sit tied atop the Conference with records of 37-17.
The 1st seed in the East holds home court advantage through the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, the fight for 1st place extends further than just being regular season champs or bragging rights.
Both teams have a drastic difference between their home and away records. On the season, the Sixers are 20-5 at home and 17-12 on the road. They average 117.6 ppg, shooting 48.9% from the field and 38.7% from 3 point range at home. On the road, they average 110.4 ppg, while shooting 46.5% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. Overall, 117.6 ppg ranks them 3rd overall in the NBA, while 110.4 ppg ranks them 22nd. There is clearly a huge difference between their offensive performances in their home and away games, and that doesn’t factor in a Wells Fargo Center filled with the best fans in the NBA.
Joel Embiid averages 31.3 ppg, shooting 52.4% from the field at home while averaging only 27.6 ppg and shooting 49.3% from the field on the road. Embiid is one of those players who feeds off the energy of the home fans, and his play shows he is a better player at home
One of the biggest home/away splits is Seth Curry 3pt%. At home, Seth Curry is shooting 45.3% from 3, but he is only shooting 37.5% on the road. The Sixers have desperately needed an elite 3 point threat in the playoffs, and Seth Curry at home has been nothing short of that so far this season.
It is clear the Sixers perform like an elite, Championship caliber team when playing in the Wells Fargo Center, but they perform like the team who got swept out of the first round last year, on the road. The 1st seed in the Eastern Conference is more important than it has ever been.
The Sixers are set to face the Nets tonight at 7:00 EST, and it is going to be one of the most important games of the season.