Sixers are an erratic, must watch team down the stretch

Sixers are an erratic, must watch team down the stretch

The 76ers could move up to the fourth seed and gain homecourt advantage in the playoffs.

They could wind up fifth, sixth or seventh. Or even eighth.

A total collapse could jettison them out of the playoffs.

Following a meltdown in Milwaukee in which the Sixers blew a 20-point lead, Twitter woke up again with the majority of crazies calling for head coach Brett Brown to be fired again.

Then just days later, the team hung on for a wire-to-wire win in Charlotte to get within two games of the Cavaliers for third in the East.

Anything can happen with this young yet unpredictable team.

The final stretch of the regular season will likely see more highs and lows – very similar to the pattern fans have already witnessed.

They could reel off seven straight wins and then turn around and drop six of seven.

Turnovers have been an issue all season and they were bone-crushing in Milwaukee. This team just doesn’t have enough experience to expect any kind of consistency.

The fanbase should be greedy and crave homecourt advantage in the playoffs.

After the last four seasons, which produced 75 wins, it’s a welcome change.

Following some exciting victories, like the 24-point home comeback against the Miami Heat, will also come maddening losses like the buzzer beater to the Houston Rockets and the rough loss in Milwaukee.

“You see teams just crawl into our chins,” Brown told reporters in Milwaukee. “How we react and respond is going to be a key influence to how successful we are.”

Very true.

When the playoffs begin, the Sixers must take care of the basketball. If they make it, of course.

The games slow down into halfcourt sets and possessions become even more valuable.

Can Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Co. handle the playoff intensity?

Time will tell.

For now, the Sixers remain a young and exciting team. They’re also an erratic group, which had to be expected.

The young stars simply don’t have enough game experience to be expected to act like LeBron James or Steph Curry. Maybe in three or four years.

Now? No. Too early.

The Sixers need to keep churning, to keep learning.

“I think we’re doing a good job of getting better every day,” forward Dario Saric said. “Coach says to keep putting in good days. We’re doing that. Sometimes, we make mistakes. We get upset with mistakes. We want to move forward and go to the playoffs and keep playing hard and do well. We are just getting started, I think. I know we have talent and can keep doing better.”

This much is guaranteed: the Sixers will be exciting. It may not always work in their favor. How well they do will depend on their young players and how they continue to develop.

The ride may be bumpy but it will be worth watching. That fact can’t be questioned.

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