Yesterday over at ESPN.com 93 of ESPN’s best basketball minds predicted the final 2010-11 standings for Eastern Conference and for the 76ers the outcome was not pretty. The brain trust over at ESPN forecasted that the Sixers will finish 11th in the East on the strength of 31 total wins.
If that prediction for the Sixers upcoming season wasn’t hard enough to stomach, the minds at ESPN followed it up with this little blurb, “Even a new coach (Doug Collins) and the No. 2 pick (Evan Turner) didn’t give Philly much of a boost in our forecast. While the Sixers have the raw materials to emerge as a surprise team in the East, our panel fears their roster of bad contracts, mismatched pieces and redundant talent will render them mediocre at best.”
While we agree with most of the analysis blurb, we thought the prediction of 31 total wins was low for the 2010-11 76ers. After all in 2009-10 they battled through having clueless Eddie Jordan at the helm, injuries to key players, playing with no point guard for half the season, no defensive presence, the Allen Iverson experiment, a near mutiny, in-fighting as well as severe apathy down the stretch and still pulled in 27 wins. So we believed that a “fresh start” under new head coach Doug Collins would be worth at least 10 more victories in 2010-11 and that the Sixers would rack up 37 or so wins this coming season.
Of course that theory was assembled before the 76ers schedule for the upcoming season was released yesterday.
After close analysis of the Sixers 2010-11 brutal schedule, we’ve decided that Collins and the Sixers have a very tough road to haul during this upcoming season and thus the minds at ESPN may be correct. 31 Ws might be a nice accomplishment for the Sixers in 2010-11.
Below is Philadunkia’s unscientific analysis of the Sixers 2010-11 schedule…
Tough early stretches:
Oct. 27th – Nov. 2nd : MIA; ATL; at IND; at WAS; *
* Would a 0-4 start kill any hope and momentum the 76ers have built up over this summer? We may find out.
Also the following won’t help us get off to a fast start in 2010-11 either:
Nov. 7th – 13th : at NYK; at OKC; at DAL; at SAS
This 10 game stretch that could bury the Sixers season before the holidays are over:
12/15: vs. LAC
12/17 vs. LAL
12/18 @ ORL
12/21 @ CHI
12/22 @ BOS
12/26 @ DEN
12/27 @ GSW
12/29 @ PHX
12/31 @ LAL
01/03 @ NOH
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the scheduling gods at the League offices.
The toughest road trip: See the eight games above.
The toughest month:
The stretch from December 3rd to January 3rd. In that span of time the Sixers will play in 16 games in 31 days including the 8 game road trip listed above. They will also have 2 games vs. the defending champs, 2 games vs. Boston, play at Atlanta and get only 6 games in at Wells Fargo Center.
The easiest home stand:
The good news is the Sixers could close out the 2010-11 season on a high note thanks to a 4-game home stand vs. very beatable competition. On April 6th they face the NYK. That’s followed by a game on 4/8 vs. Toronto. Next is a run (4/11) against an Orlando squad that should be resting its starters for the playoffs. Finally, the 2010-11 season comes to a close on 4/13 against lowly Detroit.
The easiest month:
April – Okay so it’s only half a month, but it still looks to be the easiest stretch of the season for the Sixers. The Sixers play New Jersey at home, @ Milwaukee, @ Boston and then close with the above mentioned soft four game home stand.
The toughest back-to-backs:
December 17th and 18th … On the 17ththe Sixers are home against the reigning NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers for a 7pm start. After the game they’ll then travel to Florida to play Orlando the following night at 7pm . It’s not just the travel that’s rough, it’s also the fact that on back-to-back nights you have to play two very, very good teams that are completely different in terms of style of ball.
- Evan Turner will receive a “baptism by fire” as they say as on opening night 2010, Turner’s first NBA game, the rookie will be asked to guard either Lebron James or D-Wade. Good luck with that kid.
- The Sixers will play 13 sets of back-to-back games in 2010-11, including five sets across March and April.
- The team will also have completed more then half their road schedule (25 games) by the end of January. They will have played 31 away games before the 2011 All-Star Break.
- Lower Merion product Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers make their annual appearance on Friday, December 17th.
- Sammy Dalembert returns to Philadelphia on 3/27/2011
- Andre Miller returns to Philly with the Portland Trailblazers on 11/30/2010.
- Over at csnphilly.com Dei Lynam talked with AI9 about opening up the 2010-11 season vs. the Heat.
- You can view the entire 2010-11 Sixers schedule here.