Before the season started, the Sixers had a clearly stated goal of advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
With the postseason just one day away, that aspiration appears to be more of a pipe dream than reality. At press time, we didn't know if the Sixers would be facing the Bulls or Heat come Saturday. Either way, we do know that they'll be huge underdogs. (For the record, they are getting 50/1 odds to win it all, according to Sportsbook.com).
It's a disappointing reality for a team that sprinted out to a 20-9 start and weren't expected to face the Eastern Conference's big boys until the second round. But a midseason collapse, coupled with a surge from the suddenly springy Celtics, and the Atlantic Division crown was flushed away.
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For what it's worth, the Sixers do have some confidence in a matchup with the Bulls. The two teams have split the last six meetings and reigning league MVP Derrick Rose has been banged up all season.
"It means we're dodging the tougher team. That's what I think," Evan Turner told reporters when asked what it would mean to face the Bulls instead of the Heat.