Friday , Mar , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

You gotta play to win: 76ers headed to lottery

(Sports Network) – If the Philadelphia 76ers lose to the New York Knicks on
Friday night, they should probably just give up on the eighth and final
playoff spot in the East.

Losers of three straight and 10 of 12 games, the Sixers are playing their
worst basketball of the season with an upcoming schedule not conducive
with mediocre efforts.

Philadelphia, which is only 1 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for the eighth seed
in the East, has Cleveland, the Bulls, Boston, Washington, New Jersey and
Miami on the schedule.

Even if the Sixers finish eighth in the conference, they will most likely be
swept in the first round by the top-seeded Pistons.

Mo Cheeks’ squad, most notably the younger players, must right the ship
immediately before fans start counting down the days to the NBA Draft. A few
more losses would guarantee them a solid pick this summer.

The Sixers already blew their chances for an Atlantic Division title and are
six games below the .500 mark for the first time since December of the 2004
campaign.

Veteran forward Chris Webber voiced his displeasure on the team’s effort, or
lack there of, after Wednesday’s 101-91 setback to Detroit. Webber noted that
he, along with veterans Allen Iverson and Kevin Ollie, need to start playing
better and that the younger players must follow the lead.

Philly will try to get back on track when it opens a home-and-home series with
the Knicks on Friday night in the Big Apple.

However, the Sixers have lost their last four road games and are 12-22 away
from the Wachovia Center this season.

PHI