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Could’ve Meant Something: Bucks-Sixers in Game 65

Apr 25, 2012, 5:49 PM EDT

The Philadelphia 76ers face the lottery-bound Milwaukee Bucks in the suspenseless penultimate game of the season.

The ninth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks’ expected push to edge the Sixers out
of the Eastern Conference playoff race never quite materialized—they’re a
full three games out with just two games to go, and more common
parlance could consider them “eliminated” from the playoffs—and so
tonight’s game between the two teams is going to be considerably less
epic than it could have been. It’s a little frustrating, since many of
us wouldn’t have minded the chance for the Bucks to save us from having
to watch this team get slaughtered in the first round of the playoffs
(and get us a better draft pick in the process), but their fans were
probably hoping they wouldn’t do so, for the same reason. 

We can’t all
be losers, I suppose.

Anyway, there are worse fates than getting to watch your team play in
the post-season, and the Sixers’ game tonight is still meaningful in
determining who they will face in the first round. 

Of course, even in
that respect, we’d probably rather the Sixers not do all that well,
since winning too many (any?) of the remaining games could result in
them edging the Knicks (who play the Clippers tonight) for the
seventh-seed and thus facing the Miami Heat in the first round, rather
than the much-more-favorable (though still formidable) matchup of the
Chicago Bulls. To that end, the Sixers are resting basically everyone
tonight—Lou Williams, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young
will all be riding the pine, meaning that grizzled 24-year-old Jodie
Meeks will be the elder statesmen in the starting lineup tonight, along
with Lavoy Allen, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday, the
latter of whom will get the day off tomorrow. 
ARE WE EXCITED FOR THE
POST-SEASON OR WHAT??

8:00 tip from the Bradley Center in Brewtown. It’s been a confusing
month or so for Sixers fans that isn’t getting any clearer anytime soon. 

 “We definitely had higher aspirations than the eighth seed,” commented
Spencer Hawes recently. “But to be righting the ship in time for the
playoffs feels good.” Whatever you say, Spence.