After such a promising and somewhat unexpected start by the Philadelphia 76ers, the bottom has fallen out in a big way lately.
While Philly is still in seventh place and clinging to a playoff berth at the moment, the team starts a brutal stretch of games to finish the season. The good news? The Sixers are still in great position to make the playoffs with a two-and-a-half game lead over the ninth seed Milwaukee Bucks.
The week starts in earnest with three games in just as many nights.
First, Philadelphia hits the road to take on the Orlando Magic. The Magic are desperate as they're in a battle for the fifth slot with the Atlanta Hawks. Dwight Howard has back issues that will sideline him, and both Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis are out as well with various injuries.
On Tuesday, the 76ers will be back home to face Indiana for their final home game. The Pacers are all but locked into the third seed barring any serious setbacks. These two teams are very similar in both play without one major star.
Danny Granger and Andre Iguodala are both wonderful talents, but neither would be called a superstar. It will be a throwback to good old fashioned team basketball.
The third consecutive game is another road game, this time against Cleveland. Philly is obviously the better team, but it's fair to wonder how much they'll have in the tank after all the travel and games the previous two days.
On Saturday, the Sixers will again play the Pacers to close out the week.