MIAMI — It might be too late for the 76ers to be worrying about home-court advantage in the playoffs.
Tobias Harris was asked following Saturday’s 116-95 loss in Boston at what point does the team get concerned about where its at in the standings.
“What point? Probably about 10 games ago,” he said.
Al Horford said the team had hoped to begin making up ground on Saturday. Now, the hope is to do so on Monday against a Heat squad with a 21-3 home record. After that, the Sixers have another tough road game Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have the league’s best record at 42-7.
So jump-starting things in the next two games won’t be easy.
The Sixers are in sixth place in the East, five games behind the second-place Toronto Raptors with 32 games left.
The Sixers (31-19) are three games behind the Heat (33-15), who have the same record as the Celtics. However, the Celtics are positioned third in the standings because they won the head-to-head tiebreaker with Miami.
If the regular season concluded Sunday, the Celtics would have home-court advantage over the Sixers in a best-of-seven first-round series.
That would put Philly in a bad spot despite winning three of this season’s four meetings with Boston. In fact, the Sixers might have a problem overcoming any series in which they won’t be enjoying home-court advantage because they’re miserable on the road. Saturday’s loss at Boston marked their third straight road loss and ninth in their last 11 road games. They’re 9-17 on the road compared to 22-2 at Wells Fargo Center.
So it’s definitely important for them to move up the standings to get home-court advantage.
But time hasn’t run out in their quest to secure home-court advantage through the first two rounds. As of Sunday morning, the Sixers had the NBA’s sixth-easiest remaining schedule. Their remaining games are against teams with a combined winning percentage of .480, according to Tankathon.
“I quietly pay attention,” coach Brett Brown said. “But if you said what’s more important, you looking at the standings and really studying that versus do you feel like you’re playing good basketball? Do you feel like there’s a semblance of order to what you’re trying to do defensively and what’s trying to do offensively?”
The coach doesn’t feel good about those things.