Sixers Pass Up Chance At History
In today’s sports climate, you really only get a few opportunities to etch your name in the history books. The Sixers has their chance, and they passed it up by winning a game.
Last night, the Sixers not only won, they manhandled the Detroit Pistons, 123-98 in front of a surprising large Wells Fargo Center crowd. We all knew the implications of last night’s game.
Lose, and the Sixers would take over the lone spot as the NBA’s record holder for consecutive losses at 27. In a season where the word on everyone’s mind has been ‘tanking,’ another loss would have been fine. The team will undeniably lose again this season.
The major thing at stake was the team backing up the tanking talk by losing in a manner that no other team has ever loss before. They players avoided that dubious distinction.
The Sixers played with a refreshing combination of energy, frustration, effort, anxiety and pride en route to that impressive win. With the talent-impaired state of the roster, the Sixers needed to play as close to perfect as possible to win and they came very close.
The Sixers managed to beat the Pistons in every statistical category necessary for a win. Despite the presence of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith, the Sixers outrebounded the Pistons 46-44. The recorded four less turnovers, scored five more fastbreak points and scored 60 points in the paint to the Pistons 46.
The Sixers also shot an impressive 12-21 from beyond the arc and recorded 70 points in the first half which was the most they scored in a half all season.
Michael Carter-Williams played with intensity from the opening tip on both ends of the floor. His 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists were a testament to the Rookie of the Year campaign he is building.
The lone veteran leader on the floor for Brett Brown, Thaddeus Young, showed up once again for his team. He scored 21 points to go along with six rebounds.
Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson, two players that you did not know before last night and may still not know today, scored 16 and 14 points respectively.
Jarvis Varnado came off the bench and blocked a career-high, six shots. Tony Wroten returned from injury to dish out nine assists. The team’s overall display was as close to perfect as the Sixers could have played.
People have raised the issue of the Sixers being a disgrace to the NBA or to Philadelphia sports, but last night served as proof of that just not being true. They are clearly not the most talented team assembled. However, they do not lack heart, passion or pride.
Brown spoke openly following the win stating that he was happy for the fans and for the players. They may be tied for one of the league’s more embarrassing records but they showed up just in time to avoid standing alone atop that mountain.
It is clear what the Sixers’ front office is trying to do. They have been incredibly open about it. They have also stressed that they are committed to developing young talent to build something that will last for Philadelphia.
If you did not believe in that claim before last night’s game, you should now.