What should you expect from the Sixers in the second half of the season?

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The second half of the 2019-20 NBA season kicks off for Philadelphia this upcoming Thursday. With that, comes a whole plethora of storylines to keep your eye on.


A Whole Lot of Wins

Based on win-loss percentage, the Sixers have the second easiest second-half schedule in the NBA (45.5%). This puts them in prime position to regain some much-needed ground in the Eastern Conference standings. 

The team currently sits as the 5th seed in the east, a pretty brutal spot considering it would mean a first-round road match-up with the Miami Heat. However, just 1.5 games back the Heat and just 4.5 games behind Boston, the potential to climb all the way up to the three seed is realistic for Philly.


A Very Healthy (and dominant) Joel Embiid

A topic that was absolutely beaten to death by the media over the last few weeks, Joel Embiid has been on the receiving end of some heavy criticism for his “lack” of production this year (he’s still averaging 23 and 12).

However, what’s seemingly become an afterthought is the fact that Embiid underwent full-on surgery just a few weeks ago. He returned abnormally fast and spent much of January rocking a hand splint. Embiid finally ditched the splint for the All-Star game this past weekend and absolutely dominated in what turned out to be quite a competitive contest.

With his hand at least mostly healed now, expect Embiid to really push in this second half. He has some critics to silence and some wins to gather if he wants to see the Sixers get a first-round playoff series.


A Brand New Starting Five

Right before the All-Star break hit, the Sixers went out and added two new players to the roster. Via a trade with the Golden State Warriors, Elton Brand acquired Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burkes. Both are known for their above-average perimeter shooting.

With that in mind, head coach Brett Brown also moved former starter Al Horford to the bench (much to the fans’ delight). With an opening now present with the starters, expect guys like GR3, Matisse Thybulle, and Furkan Korkmaz to all potentially get some run at the small forward position.

For what it’s worth, Glenn Robinson III appears to make the most sense to fill that hole. He’s had two solid outings with the Sixers so far and is shooting 39.5% on the season.


Road Woes Continuing?

The Sixers’ struggles on the road have always been strictly a mental thing. Dropping games to teams like Atlanta or Orlando has nothing to do with the talent on the court, Philly simply isn’t coming ready to compete.

Considering the team has just TWO losses at home this season, it’s clear they have an “on” switch and an “off” switch.

The Sixers really need an overhaul in the locker room when it comes to who’s setting the tone. Whatever they were trying to do before clearly wasn’t working. It got so bad that a seasoned veteran like Horford even said some things out loud to the media.

A lot of that could be attributed to their star center missing time with an injury.

If the Sixers come storming out the gate this second half playing competitive ball every night, those random road losses should evaporate. If the team collectively is still “saving themselves for the playoffs”, expect those frustrating out of town losses to continue.

 Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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