Sixers and the Flyers defy playoff expectations, for better and worse

Both Philadelphia’s pro basketball and hockey teams are tangled in seven-game playoff series. The Sixers, against the Chicago Bulls, are up three games to one. The Flyers, against the New Jersey Devils, are down three games to one.

“Nobody expected the Sixers to be playing longer than the Flyers,” said Kyle Scott, editor of, a Philadelphia sports blog.

He says it’s certainly a twist.

“The Flyers, they were the favorites coming into the series. Everyone really expected that they could go on to win the whole thing,” said Scott.

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But winning now? It’s unlikely. A tall task, he says. And the Sixers? Well, even if they eek out a win against the Bulls, stronger, older, more talented teams await.

“It’s just not a reasonable expectation that they could have a chance to win in a seven-game series,” said Scott.

So, reason would say: Don’t get your hopes up. But, as Philadelphia fans know, there’s more to it than that.

“As a fan, you always can look at things reasonably,” said Scott. “But then, the minute your team shows any sign of life or ability to win, you generally buy into it hook, line and sinker. Because you want to believe that the improbable can happen.”

The improbable has a shot Tuesday evening, when both the Flyers and the Sixers play game No. 5 in their respective series.

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