The Philadelphia 76ers clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference last week after defeating the Atlanta Hawks. The Sixersʼ final record was 43-39, putting them one game ahead of the New Jersey Nets who clinched the eighth seed ahead of the disappointing Cleveland Cavaliers. Clinching the seventh seed in the East means that they will play the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the NBA playoffs. After midseason, the Sixers made a key move to acquire Chris Webber from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson. Many fans and media analysts believed that this move would propel the Sixers into first place in the Atlantic Division. Unfortunately, this has not been the case due to Webber getting used to a new system as well as a nagging left shoulder sprain, which kept him out of action the first week of April.
Although Webber has not lived up to the expectations of the fans so far, he does have veteran playoff experience with his former team, the Kings. This, combined with the way the Sixersʼ star point guard Allen Iverson has been playing all season as well as the steady improvement of new rising stars Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala, could make the Sixers a dangerous team to face in the playoffs.
In a survey of forty co-ed West Chester students, only 12 percent believed that the Sixers would win their first playoff series against the Pistons. To take the survey a step further, another question was asked whether the Sixers would get swept by the Pistons. Of the 88 percent of people who said the Sixers would lose the series against the Pistons, 15 percent believed that they would get swept. Another 53 percent of these respondents said that the Sixers would win only one game.
The Miami Heat are the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and are picked by many to win the NBA championship. They are led by second year sensation Dwyane Wade and the most dominant player in the NBA, Shaquille OʼNeal. The Heat open the first round of the playoffs this week against eighth seeded New Jersey.