After failing to beat the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, the Sixers have still not clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They will have another chance to do so Thursday against the Miami Heat.
This matchup will be a reunion of sorts as the Sixers square off against former teammate Jimmy Butler. The fun could be cut short amid the latest injury report.
Butler is listed as questionable for Thursday's matchup with a right eye contusion. This puts Miami at a disadvantage as Butler is undoubtedly their best player.
Entering Thursday, Butler is averaging 21.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 7.2 APG.
It is very unlikely that Butler misses this matchup on Thursday. While the Sixers are still aiming to solidify their playoff position, so is Miami.
(Plus, we all know Butler is not going to pass up a chance to stick it to one of his former teams.)
As it currently stands, the Heat sit tied with the Knicks for fifth in the Eastern Conference. They are just a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth place.
After having a long stretch of almost meaningless games, the Sixers find themselves in a competitive predicament. Both sides have a lot on the line in this matchup, making it a good move on the NBA's part flexing this game to national television.
Winning this matchup not only gives the Sixers first place but could also knock Miami down in the standings. Meaning the Sixers would face one of the Knicks or Hawks in the second round of playoffs, instead of the defending Eastern Conference champions.
With so few chances to cover ground as the regular season comes to a close, this should lead to an exciting matchup.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.