Was the win over the lowly Orlando Magic the most unconvincing, convincing win ever? 

As far as this season goes, it was.

It finally takes away the withstanding asterisks next to those quality blow outs.  It eliminates all complaining that Collins can’t win the close ones.  It hopefully prevents the meat heads from BEGGING for a quality opponent as a measuring stick.  And with any luck, keeps the Sixers under the radar to their upcoming opponents.

That win, to me, handled and dismantled all of that.

In all seriousness, the Sixers just choked out the Orlando Magic offense with its usual strong defensive grasp; holding on to their first place rank in points allowed per game at 86.1.  They’ve done it to the bottom feeders consistently and they just did it to an Eastern Conference playoff mainstay.  Even in this drowned out and ludicrous season forOrlando, they are still a playoff team.  Period.  And that beat down just happened.

The beloved beat down the Magic so bad that Van Gundy (who, along with Otis Smith, should have been fired after Orlando’s 21-point melt down against Boston) pulled Howard, Hedo, and Reddick for an all-inclusive stay on the bench with about three minutes left in the fourth.  Even when the deficit got within ten, the turtle neck loving Van Gundy didn’t ask for his players to commit any intentional fouls.  On top of that, he found it unnecessary to sub back in any of his stars until there was 18-seconds remaining in the game; throwing Reddick to the dogs with the Magic within seven, I’m guessing, for a quick three.  Unfortunately for Reddick (who was 3-5 from beyond the arc in the game), Glen “Big Baby”Davisdecided he was better at that particular aspect of the game (1-2 on the night), forcing up a 26-footer with 9-seconds left in the game.

Along with the stout defense, it also helped that the Sixers made the adjustments needed at halftime and came out firing; scoring 21-points in the third while only giving up 9. 

Fun fact: Against playoff teams (as of1/31/2012), the Sixers are averaging 24.6 points after halftime, while only giving up 18.9 to their opponents.  What’s that saying about it’s not how you start the game?

The Doug Collins effect everyone.

No the win wasn’t sexy.  It was actually down right Marilyn Manson.  But a win’s, a win’s, a win.

Look, the Sixers won ugly.  They won shooting 37.5% from the field (an abysmal 30-80).  They won shooting 52.6% from the charity stripe (with Iggy shooting 3-9).  The won even with Lou Williams coming down to earth from his 6th Man of the Year campaign (something that won’t happen very often).  They won with only three guys reaching double figures in points (Iggy, Thadd, and thekidET).  They won while being out rebounded 55-47. 

BUT… they won assisting on 22 of their 30 made baskets.  They won while notching four blocks, tying the Magic in that game (did we mention the Sixers are down their two best centers?,) and seven steals.  They won because they forced 14-turnovers for 17-points, while only serving the ball over six times themselves for nine points.

Offense sells the tickets.  Defense wins the games… unless you are a Sixers fan, in which case, COME ON PEOPLE get to theWellsFargoCenterand support this team.  To watch some of the best teams in the EastANDyour Atlantic Division leading Sixers for $10 a game (based on the $60 dollar-Super 6 pack starting price) is a freaking steal.

Regardless, I bet there are those that are still unpleased with the victory overOrlandobecause the Dwight Howard-or bust Magic of 2012 have fallen victims to poor form and ill-advised hoop-tactics in their last four games. 

I would also bet there are those that think the next Batman movie is going to suck because Heath Ledger overdosed and is not coming back to finish off that storyline.

Both sets of people would be wrong and can donate their money to my personal loan repayment fund.

The Sixers are five games ahead of Bostonfor the division, two games behind the Bulls (who they play tonight) for first place in the East, and two games behind those same Bulls for the best record in the League.  They are 11-2 at home (good for sixth best in the league), first in average point differential (+11.4), and tallied up a 4-1 mark after playing five games in seven days.

That is absolutely astounding. 

Even if the schedule is “weak” to some, these are still professional basketball teams, fielding the best athletes in the game (fine,Charlotte’s current roster is debatable). 

Am I the only one that think this was a huge win for the Sixers?

I mean come on people, the 7-6 won against a talented Orlando team despite having a terrible offensive game.  That is the most encouraging stat of the night.  Against a team that many, myself included, thought would give the Sixers fits, our Philly boys found a way to win by playing great defense.

Defense against the best center in the League, WITHOUT THE BEST TWO CENTERS ON THE CURRENT ROSTER!

Us fans need to give some credit where credit is due and we are late on our payments 

Obtaining this victory was the perfect way to start the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Month that I discussed last week; and it should give the team plenty of confidence for the toughest part of their schedule.  For a young team to win a game against an opponent of the Magic’s magnitude on the worst collective offensive game of the year, is absolutely inspiring.

If that’s not enough, those fans need to remember that the Sixers were 1-9 in their last ten games against the Magic going into last night.

Winning games on terrible shooting nights are an integral part of the development of a young team’s self-assurance.  Though this win may not give the talking heads, you, President Obama, or me the proof we need for the Sixers being legit contenders, I would again bet that it did to the people in the locker room. 

But ultimately, our opinions on what we think the Sixers are matters just about as much as whom Kim Kardashian’s love interest is this week.  It flat out doesn’t.

What does matter is that the 7-6 are walking around with a little extra pep in their step after that win and deservingly so.  They did something that they had not done all season: win a close game, against one of the NBA’s better teams, with Lou Williams and Co. turning in horrendous offensive performances. 

Like I said: unconvincingly, convincing. 

Oh, and the new Batman movie is staring Tom Hardy, aka Tommy Conlon, aka Earnes, aka ultimate badass, so all of the naysayers can eat it.



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