KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Like in the preseason, the 76ers garnered a lot of hype heading into the NBA restart.
And just like before the NBA shutdown, they haven’t lived up to expectations. One could argue the Sixers have been more lucky than good through three seeding games.
They had their hands full in a 107-98 victory over the struggling Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The Sixers were clinging to a 102-98 lead with 50.6 seconds left before scoring five unanswered points.
The Sixers (41-27) remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with five seeding games remaining.
They lost their first seeding game to the undermanned Indiana Pacers on Saturday. The Sixers followed that up with closer-than-expected and unimpressive victories over the undermanned San Antonio Spurs on Monday and the Wizards (22-44).
Washington dropped to 0-4 in seeding play and is regarded as the worst team in the 22-team restart.
Yet the Sixers blew the 10-point lead they had late in the second quarter before nearly blowing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead. The Sixers looked out of sync in all three of their games.
“I think we started these three games very, very inconsistently,” coach Brett Brown said. “I think we do some good things offensively and defensively, and then you see like head-scratching stuff.
“It hasn’t gone as quickly as I had hoped.”
He said the Sixers were still figuring things out with Shake Milton being the starting point guard. The second-year player got the job when the Sixers moved Ben Simmons to power forward during the restart.
“But I think, for the most part, we are trending in the right direction,” Brown said, “just not as quickly as I wished.”
The NBA bubble continues to be a success.
None of the 343 players who were tested for COVID-19 on the Disney World campus since results were last announced on July 29 have returned confirmed positives, the league and National Basketball Players Association announced Wednesday. There were also no positive tests from July 29 or July 20.
That came after the league and players association announced July 13 that two of the initial 322 players who had arrived since July 7 tested positive while in quarantine.