Wins against bubble playoff level teams like Brooklyn or the Clippers is not a good sign. We should be eating those teams in our sleep.
Losses to the Rockets, Bucks, Pacers and Celtics were the real tests lately. We failed.
Tuesday is a meaningful game. Today was a wash.
you fail to mention the wins against the bucks and Indiana, which also happened lately. Why would those wins in early January matter less than the losses in late January?
No question that the game in Philly is more important, but what would a win (or loss) mean in the grand scheme?
The problem with regular season games is you rarely get both teams to have a peak performance. The teams come into the game with different paths, some are more tired, some are more focused, some are on a roll. Some teams rely heavily on their bench, other not so much.
In the playoffs, you get rested, healthy and super focused teams, who play their starters heavy minutes and rely a lot of their best players.
We've been the best team in the east last season, just as impressive as Milwaukee is this season. Our margin of victory was insane, 3pt shooting was great, we were top 5 in rating at both ends. Then, in the playoffs, we could barely beat a 41 wins Washington before collapsing in shame against the cavs. Why? Because the key to our regular season success was the bench, and the bench was no factor in the playoffs (partially because fred was injured, but still).
So, not to say that the regular season is meaningless, but don't focus too much on particular games - even important ones. The correlation between head to head records in the regular season and playoff series is very low - far lower than regular season records to be sure. So it matters more to have a better regular season than an opposing team, than to beat it in head to head. But the best predictor in playoff performance (if I'm not mistaken), is the playoff performance in recent years. Teams that have done well in the playoffs tend to outperform their regular season record when playing teams that have a poor/no playoff history.