Even in the COVID era, the Philadelphia 76ers think having home-court advantage in the postseason is vital toward any run to an NBA championship.
That seems only right. The Sixers are 25-7 at home this season, best in the Eastern Conference. But they also realize that home-court is no magic potion for a title. That’s why Sixers coach Doc Rivers has been emphasizing that his team has to win no matter where they play.
The Sixers rode Joel Embiid’s 34-point, 12-rebound effort to a 135-115 win over the undermanned Houston Rockets.
It was the Sixers’ sixth consecutive win. More importantly, it was their third straight road win.
“That’s one of the things we talked about, we have to win on the road and we’re doing it,” Rivers said. “And we have to keep doing it.”
The Sixers (45-21) have a two-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets (43-23) for the No. 1 seed in the East with six games remaining in the regular season. The No. 1 seed would ensure home-court advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Sixers are three games behind the Utah Jazz for the overall No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
“For me, the one seed (in the East) is very important,” Embiid said. “Every game we play at home, it just feels like we’re unbeatable. So we just gotta keep pushing, keep grinding out these wins, and do our best to keep winning.”
More than home-court advantage, securing the No. 1 seed will mean the Sixers will have an easier path to the East final….