I’ll try to be good-natured about this discussion, but if you think the 6 seed is more desirable for the Sixers because they’d be delaying a matchup with Milwaukee then maybe you shouldn’t be sharing your opinion on this one. It’s Finals or bust, and only a fool would think differently of this team if they made it to the Conference Finals instead of the Semifinals—and might I suggest googling the word: “arbitrary.”
Here’s what I wrote a few weeks back when the schedule was released. It felt like common knowledge when I wrote it, and nothing’s changed since:
“The Sixers main concern in regard to their path to the Finals comes in round one where they need to avoid Boston, which means passing one (or both) of Indiana/Miami for the 4/5 seed. In a perfect world, both us and the Pacers would make up the two game gap on the Heat and we could avoid a contentious week with Jimmy Butler in the 4-5 matchup, but we can’t be picky. While I’m certainly not comfortable with a neutral site series with Miami, I would much prefer to play them than the Celtics.”
The problem that some fans apparently have with being in the easier 4-5 matchup (and avoiding Boston) is that it means the Sixers would have to face the top-seed Bucks in the second round, but considering they’ll need to beat them at one point or another to win the East, if facing them in the Semis instead of the Conference Finals means having an easier opponent in the first round then that’s the only thing fans should be rooting for.
The way I see it: a three game path of MIA—MIL—(TOR/BOS) is better than BOS—TOR—MIL.
Other than having an inferiority complex, I’m not sure what thought process leads someone to think it matters which round we play the Bucks in. I guess if you think Boston is worse than Miami (the Celtics are the emphatically better team) this might be a defensible take, but anyone who says they’d rather the Sixers play the Celtics in round one because it would delay a possible Bucks matchup til the ECF is utterly missing the point.
There’s no feasible scenario where the Sixers lose to the Bucks in the ECF and the season is considered a success—none whatsoever; Brett Brown would be fired, Al Horford and Josh Richardson would be traded, the team would look long and hard at their options with Tobias Harris, they would probably clean out Elton and the front office, and the rest of the NBA will continue to perceive Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as underachievers. Suffice to say the outcome of this season won’t change if we lose in the second round or third, and that line of thinking is so slap-you-in-the-face obvious that to suggest otherwise would be an indictment on the way you process information—I wish there was a more courteous way to explain that.