The Philadelphia 76ers’ road woes continue into the New Year

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers have not been road warriors this season and it could come back to bite them in the long run.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been on a downward spiral ever since Christmas. After the big holiday blowout win against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, they have dropped three straight on the road to Eastern Conference playoff teams.

It doesn’t get much easier as they have to face the Houston Rockets away, the Oklahoma City Thunder (a team that they lost to already this season) at home, the Boston Celtics at home, the Dallas Mavericks away and the Indiana Pacers away again.

All those teams are either high seeded playoff teams in the East or contenders in the tough Western Conference. The next five games will tell a lot about this team because they are sixth in the standings right now and three of those games are away.

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Philadelphia needs to figure things out on the road. They are only 7-11 in away games this season.

Part of the reason for those 11 losses is the fact that they haven’t had Joel Embiid. Embiid has missed seven games this season. Six of those games have been on the road.

In those away games the Sixers are 2-4. It’s hard enough to win on the road but when your best player isn’t playing it is almost impossible. Embiid does so much for them in terms of both sides of the ball that it greatly impacts a game when he isn’t there. This Indiana game is evidence.

He can guard the rim and then go on and put on a clinic on offense with his ability to shoot the 3 and play on the block. He is the best big man in the East and the engine that runs the Sixers.

Philly’s young big man has been historically good on Myles Turner and in the game, he went for 14 points while making 60 percent of his 3s. That massive poster dunk by Domantas Sabonis most likely doesn’t happen either if Embiid is in the lineup.

The road problems from last year have carried on to this year. The Sixers had problems playing away from home in 2018-19 as they finished 20-21 but they were still able to finish third in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Raptors finished ahead of them in the standings and in the playoffs, they got the infamous Game 7 at home. That shot that Kawhi Leonard hit would have been tougher to make if they were in Philadelphia.

While games that are dropped in December may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things it helps when you are able to win these games for April. The Sixers know they need to win as much as possible to get the best seed they possibly can to avoid what happened last year.

As we get closer to the trade deadline it will be interesting to see what Philadelphia does. This team has been proven to be able to beat the best in the league but they are expected to be a contender and are only sixth in a weak Eastern Conference.

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Maybe this is only a funk and the team will get out of this soon but right now this team isn’t doing as well as we would have hoped.