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76ers battling injuries, consistency in fight for playoff spot

The Sixers are falling further from full strength, and a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, as losing in an ugly contest against the Pacers on Wednesday night didn't help.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers remain in contention for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to the muddled lower half of the standings. Philadelphia is 5-5 overall in their last ten games, currently four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, who hold the conference's seventh and eighth seeds, respectively.

They're still in it, but, as John Gonzalez writes of on Wednesday night after an eyesore of an 88-69 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Sixers don't seem to be trending in the right direction, especially because of injuries.

Liberty Ballers' Sixers-Pacers recap from Wednesday

Forward Thaddeus Young sustained a hamstring injury on Monday and shooting guard Jason Richardson might need season-ending knee surgery soon, and Gonzalez says this only adds to Philadelphia's injury woes:

Either way, it was not a cheery update on the 32-year-old shooting guard. (To review, the Sixers apparently got one good knee out of four in the Andrew Bynum/Richardson deal.) Add all that -- the injuries to Young and Richardson, along with the regular and lasting on-court struggles -- to the seemingly never-ending Bynum saga and you have a pretty sad season for the franchise so far.

After last season's playoff run, Gonzalez notes that there was an excitement about this year, and it's not exactly turning out well:

The Sixers had big hopes for this year, but those aspirations are fading quickly. They are 21-27, which puts them four games behind the Boston Celtics for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are also just four games ahead of the sad-sap Detroit Pistons in the postseason race. Right now, the Sixers are adrift.

The 76ers next play Saturday night at home against the Charlotte Bobcats.