Were they incredibly fortunate to have by far the toughest 1st half schedule? Personally I'd much prefer to have a more balanced schedule than what they had last season.
Pretenders not contenders, the Bucks, Celtics and Toronto are all a big notch above them. Big difference between winning when folks are tanking like they did last year and playing when teams are not.
Yea I think this is a really underrated part of scheduling and records that people don't think about enough. It is easy to think that because teams all play basically the same games if they are in the same conference the schedules are the same but they really are not. If you look around the league right now teams like sac, magic, etc are all trying like heck to win. This was the case last year when teams like the Knicks, Lakers and Magic all got off to good starts. By the end of the year a lot of these teams are terrible and in extreme cases, not even playing their best young guys anymore. The 76ers were incredibly fortunate to play something like 20 of their last 25 games against lottery teams last year and it pumped up their win total by about 4 or 5 over what it would have been with a balanced schedule.
Kind of surprised you don't get this tazz. If the bad teams were the same badness throughout the season then, yea, sure you can make an argument. However, the bad teams are actually trying to win in the beginning of the season and are trying to lose at the end of the season. So obviously you are fortunate to play them at times they are trying to lose. The good teams are trying to win throughout the entire year (except maybe the one or two last games when their seeding is locked). It's fairly simple concept and something their own fans routinely admit....
what evidence do you have that shows the teams were all worse at the end of the year? Someone posted Dallas record in a thread on here and aside from a .500 December, Dallas had basically the same record in all of the other months. Atlanta was 3-3 in April, but only 1-6 in October. November they won 3, then 6, then 5, then 4, then 2. So Atlanta was 1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 2, 3. Didn't really matter when you played the Hawks as they were bad all season long. Now I will give you the Suns didn't win a game in March, though they did win 2 in April and their March schedule was very difficult. Memphis was 5-1 and then had a January stretch of 4-1, but was 13-58 the rest of the season with a fairly even win distribution.
There really isn't any evidence to support that the Sixers wouldn't have beaten all of those teams if their schedule was more balanced between good and bad teams.