Posted by: Tim Parker
01/30/12 9:46 am EST
01/30/12 9:46 am EST
Everybody remembers that one kid in high school that was the roughest, toughest and meanest. The guy who would take your lunch money and obliterate any self confidence that you thought you owned. Sometimes, even a black eye would accompany your demoralized ego.
But often when that same jerk faced someone just as rough, nasty, or mean; they’d crumble. They suddenly seemed normal, and they seemed almost as vulnerable as their past victims had been.
Have the Sixers become that guy?
Based on the first 20 games of the 2011-12 season, they have fit the perfect description of the bully who can’t pick on someone its own size. All of their victories have been in convincing fashion, including many of the demolition variety.
In fact, 12 of the Sixers 14 wins have been by at least a 10 point margin or more. Their smallest margin of victory is 8. What’s even more amazing is that 8 of those games were won by 17 points or more.
Bottom line – The 76ers’ W’s have been utter massacres. And, like the true tormentors they have been, they’ve shown no mercy against the glee club and geek squad members of the NBA.
Yet, against the quality teams in the league (and against the Nets) they have been exposed bullies usually are. They have only 2 wins against teams with winning records. But, 5 of their 6 losses have come against winning teams and or/ teams that have elite talent (aka the New York Knicks).
But it goes even deeper than that.
It seems that if any team puts up a fight against the Sixers, they have no adequate response to it. How else, could one explain the loss to lowly New Jersey.
The Miami Heat were the only team that efficiently handled the 7-6 this season. The other losses could have well been victories had the Sixers had the fortitude and toughness of a legitimate contending team.
They are 0-5 in losses decided by 7 points and less, including 2 overtime losses.
Maybe, though, it’s not about their fortitude or mental approach. Doug Collins would never allow those things to be lacking. Perhaps, it goes back to the same acknowledgment that we at Philadunkia have been noted repeatedly.
The Sixers lack a closer, a finisher, the man who must possess the ball at game’s end.
It has nothing to do with stardom; not necessarily at least.
Think about players like Chauncey Billups, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, and a host of others who were never superstars, but who knew how to flourish when it mattered most.
Without a game changer, with that special something, to deliver, the Sixers will continue to struggle to pull out wins when they are aren’t just stepping all over an opponent.
Until, they get that guy (who could be hidden on the current Sixers roster), they will continue to be just a bully who beats up on the little guys who can’t fight back.
Though, this team’s intimidating days could be over. Their next 7 games will be arguably their toughest challenge of the year. Starting tonight, Philadunkia’s home team faces the Magic, Bulls, Heat, Hawks, Lakers, Spurs, and Clippers all in a row.
With this brutal upcoming stretch, the Sixers non-believers, haters and doubters will all (in some form of expression) ask the 7-6 this question:
What are you gonna do now, tough guy?