After their 107-86 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon, the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team had to wait until Sunday night to find out who would be their playoff matchup based on the result between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls.

The Knicks ended up clinching the number two seed in the Eastern Conference with a thrilling 120-119 win after Bulls’ star DeMar DeRozan missed a buzzer-beater. The Sixers were left with the same record as the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers, all at 47-35. The Magic clinched the fifth seed by winning the Southeast division, the three-way tiebreaker. The Pacers then took sixth, having won the season series over the Sixers 2-1, the head-to-head tiebreaker. So the Magic and Pacers clinched playoff positions, while the Sixers will host a play-in game against a competitive Miami Heat team despite winning eight games in a row to end the season. The Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks will face off in the second play-in matchup in the Eastern Conference.

“Obviously, we’ve had some great battles with them, and we always expect that facing them,” 76ers head coach Nick Nurse said after Sunday’s win about the prospect of the matchup with the Heat. The mindset is we’re playing well and doing everything we can, like we’ve been doing the last month of the year … digging in and playing our guys and doing whatever we have to, whatever we got to do to win.”

“We’ve got a good mindset, and we’ll take that into Wednesday,” Nurse said.

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The winner of the Sixers-Heat matchup on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. will face the number two-seeded Knicks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. As a two-seed for the first time since 2013, the Knicks will only have it a little easier regardless of who they play. The Sixers will bring a healthy reigning MVP in Joel Embiid, and the Heat will get a similar team to the one who knocked them out of the playoffs in six second-round games last season.

Will this be the year for the Knicks? Or will the play-in game-winner between the Heat and the Sixers emerge as an underdog in the Eastern Conference semi-finals?

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