Improving 76ers eye East playoff spot

January 6, 2011 12:26:05 PM PST
The Philadelphia 76ers seemed destined for a trip to the draft lottery only six weeks ago. Now, coach Doug Collins has the Sixers thinking about the playoffs.

The Sixers returned from a seasonlong eight-game road trip with rejuvenated postseason hopes. They went 3-5 on the swing, a moderate success for a team that was one of the worst in the NBA last year.

Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams led a 109-97 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night that put the Sixers on an 11-8 run since a dreadful 3-13 start. The Sixers are now the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

There's still a long season ahead, of course, and the Sixers would first like to get to .500.

But suddenly in Philadelphia, there's hope.