Sixers hope to feast on some home cooking

Sixers hope to feast on some home cooking
January 6, 2013, 8:40 pm
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To see it in black-and-white, the 2-6 record during the Sixers eight-game, 14-day road trip doesnt look too good.

But in reality, the Sixers were lucky to get those two wins.

The last eight games for the Sixers were no joke. Not only were there three back-to-backs in nine days, but also the Sixers had to face six teams in either first or second place in their divisions as well as the Lakers.

So that 2-6 record? Yeah, it could have been worse.

I have never experienced a road trip like this, said Jrue Holiday after the loss to San Antonio on Saturday night. "We had three back-to-backs in a row and we played some of the best teams in the league and before that we started off with Brooklyn. It was tough, but as a team we grew from it.

And on the heels of the torturous run, the Sixers will get very familiar with the Wells Fargo Center. Starting with Tuesday nights game against Brooklyn, the Sixers will play 13 of their next 15 games at home. In fact, in the 16 games leading into the week-long All-Star break, the Sixers go to Toronto and Milwaukee twice with an eight-game home stand between the trips to play the Bucks.

In other words, at 15-20, the Sixers better make the most out of some home cookin.

First things first, we are all looking forward to just going home and sleeping in our own bed, Spencer Hawes said after the game in San Antonio. We are looking forward to those comfortable confines and turning things around and getting back on track.

As the Sixers look to turn things around at home, heres a few things were watching:

Bynum getting closer?
First things first, though: the Sixers need some help and they just might get it. While the team was on the road for the past two weeks, Andrew Bynum was toiling away in Philadelphia with the hope of joining the lineup sooner rather than later. Though the updates have been sparse, the All-Star center reportedly has been engaged in a six-part regimen without setbacks from his low-impact training.

However, a return date for Bynum is still anyones guess. Could it be before the All-Star break? Perhaps well get a few answers this week.

Hitting the reset button
Before the trip began, the Sixers had one of the easiest strength of schedule ratings in the NBA, according to the metrics designed by ex-ESPN analyst and current Grizzlies VP of basketball operations, John Hollinger.

Obviously that ranking changed after the last eight games.

So with the brutal part of the schedule over with, the Sixers can hit delete and go back to what they were doing at the beginning of the season. Thats where they won nine of 16 home games, including five out of six, and averaged 95 points per game as opposed to 91 on the road.

Better yet, the Sixers play eight of their next 16 games with two or more days off in-between. This year the Sixers have only had seven games with two-day breaks and have averaged nearly 100 points per game in those instances and four of those seven have been on the road.

This time around, all eight of the Sixers two-day breaks will be played at home and two of them follow games on the road.

Yes, the schedule should give the Sixers a little bit of a boost over the next month. Lets see if they can make the most of it.

E-mail John R. Finger at jfinger@comcastsportsnet.com