Honestly, what if?
What once would have seemed a dream is not out of the realm of possibility in this year’s NBA.
Remember the League is not really the League in 2012. It’s different. Something we’re not used to; like Adam Sandler playing a serious and unfunny Charlie Fineman in Reign Over Me and being good at it. Like Kim Kardashian actually committing to a man instead of her “career”. Like America actually caring about an athlete from Minnesota not named Joe Mauer or Adrian Peterson. Like Skip Bayless admitting he’s wrong about ANYTHING. Like Seal not married to his super model wife. Like Peyton Manning going from the highest of highs to unemployed.
This is a League where Cleveland is a game and half back of a playoff seed one year after having the second worst record in the NBA, the NEW YORK KNICKS reside behind them in that playoff race, Memphis last year’s darlings and Western Conference Final loser could not make it into the post season, Sun’s owner Robert Sarver is taking everything we love about Steve Nash and using it against Steve Nash by refusing to just deal him to a contender right now, and Blake Griffin wont defend his title in this year’s Dunk Contest during All Star Weekend in Orlando. An NBA where Charles Barkley (Mr. I’m not a Role Model himself) is personally apologizing to fans for the play that we are being forced to watch on a nightly basis while David Stern could give a rats behind because the ratings and money is better than ever.
We are among an NBA world where that same Heat team has gotten blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks twice (whom the Sixers gave the business too on January 16th), the Thunder lost to the Washington Buzzards after an actual night off and five of Golden State’s eight wins have come against the Bulls, Knicks, Heat, Trail Blazers, and Jazz (all playoff teams) while they have lost to Charlotte, New Jersey, and Phoenix. A world where an NBA superstar resigned with the Wolves while President of Basketball Operations David Kahn is still running the show, the Clippers are a top Western Conference power, Dallas could care less about defending their title and Dwight Howard is averaging 20.1/15.4/2.0 for a team he can’t wait to leave.
So what would happen if the Sixers beat the Heat tonight? Mass hysteria? Aliens falling from the sky? The melting of Joan Rivers face?
I don’t know what will happen, but I know what should:
1. Death be to the meat heads:
No more hate. No more questions. No more disbelief in Philly about being good at basketball again. Just love. Just happiness. Just expectations that reflect what this team is doing. Is that too much to ask?
2. Doug Collins is the NBA’s Coach of the Year:
I don’t even want to spend time defending this because Collins defends it on his own every night the Sixers play. Even if they don’t beat the Heat tonight, Collins still deserves that award and without much contest. If you don’t believe me, read our last post about the Sixers numbers this season. Again, as Bill Parcells famously said, you are what your numbers say you are; and they say Doug Collins deserves Coach of the Year. The only and I mean only competition against Collins from taking some extra hardware home should be Tryon Carter and George Karl for what they are doing with their current rosters in Utah and Denver. And in all honesty and from the completely unbiased stance I’m in, they can’t touch Doug
3. IF Lou Williams goes off (and even if he doesn’t), he deserves to be in more serious talks and a LEGIT contender with the Bearded Hurricane that is James Harden for 6th Man of the Year. Continuing with the numbers theme, check these out:
Harden: 30.4 MIN, 16.1 PPG, 3.6 APG, 4.2 RPG, 21.40 PER
Williams: 25.1 MIN, 15.3 PPG, 3.6 APG, 2.3 RPG, 22.06 PER
Like Bill Parcells said…
4. ‘Dre needs to be named as an All-Star Reserve:
If not Lou and Jrue, it has to be Iggy. AI9 is averaging 15.6 points per game against playoff teams this season while often guarding the best offensive players on the opposing side. He provides constant energy, leadership, and was one rebound away against the Bulls from putting up three straight double doubles (four total). He had a slow month of December and a terrible first game against the Heat, but if the Bulls game is any indication of what is to come and if Iggy can play the way he did the last three games of the playoffs last year against the Heat, tonight (16 PPG, 6 REB, 6 AST,46.6 FG%), watch out. Saying that Iggy should be an All-Star isn’t so much based on what he has done this season but more of what he has done for his career. Plus, Philly deserves one member of their team to go to Orlando and if you take a look at the small forward landscape in the East this season, only Danny Granger deserves to be an All-Star over Iggy. Sure Melo is Melo, but he’s being Melo on a team that has a losing record in a terrible Eastern Conference and seemingly hurts them more than helps. Paul Pierce has come on as of late but his numbers are a bit skewed because Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have both sat out multiple games providing PP with more shots; a luxury I’m sure the AI9 of old wishes he had.
5. Be afraid… BE VERY AFRAID:
All of sudden nobody in the East wants to be matched up against the Sixers in the playoffs. That’s after completing their current run against their “weak” schedule. But outside of Philly, if you ask anyone in Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Indiana as to which team that is not named the Heat you wouldn’t want to face in the first round, it’s the Sixers. They are scrappy. They get their hands on everything (Collins Ball!). They cause panic. They create turnovers. They run the fast break better than most. They have so many guys that aren’t house hold names that are playing with a hypothetical chip on their shoulder (not a real one, can’t afford more people with the “DTD” tag). They are young. So freaking young. They are fresh. They don’t know any better. They could give a crap about the “lose now, win later” motif in the NBA. They are flat out, damn right, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the old one, not the crappy new one) scary. Now imagine the mass panic if the Heat fall to them tonight. Three wins against the Magic, Bulls, and Heat in a row… just saying.
They finally know what they are doing. (I think that point is made.)
Truly, it doesn’t matter what the outcomes of tonight’s game is for all of those points to be true. A win only helps their cause. No matter if the Heat get waxed or the Sixers recent two game success against “good” teams flames out faster than Miley Cyrus’ singing career, the Sixers are here to stay. Bust out that ol’ Dr. J jersey Philadelphia fans, basketball is back.