Posted by: Philadunkia
04/05/12 2:48 am EST

Before the start of this lockout-shortened season, the only Sixers topic of interest was which mascot they would go with once the rabbit on steroids known as ‘Hiphop’ was out of the picture.  The 7-6 were a young team with no proven leader or dominant big man.  It was just going to be another mediocre year of Philly basketball — something this city has grown increasingly resigned to since the 2001 Finals run.

Then the unexpected happened.

The Sixers went 15-6 through December and January and the misery that the Eagles left us with turned to joy. Doug Collins was a God, Spencer Hawes was…good, Lou, Jrue, Thad and ET were earning nicknames, Iggy was earning All-Star berths, and we didn’t have any major snow storms. Life was good.

And other than a few bumps along the road, the Sixers made a mockery of our expectations in those early weeks. They boasted a league leading defense and great fast break play. They played with toughness and grit; pushing until the final buzzer in each and every game. We finally got a player in the All Star game and—with the Celtics looking old and the Knicks looking like the Knicks we’ve all grown to love—we led the Atlantic by a healthy margin.

Then the unexpected happened. Again.

Oh how things have changed since the good old days of January. The weather has warmed up as the Sixers prospects have cooled off. Even in a shortened season, fatigue is kicking in. The decision not to add a big man or a pure scorer before the deadline has resulted in an offense that just can’t seem to get it going. Andre Iguodala is hurt, Thad Young looks like he’s hit a brick wall and Evan Turner has slowed from his torrid pace. When the Sixers need 31 points from Jodie Meeks to be competitive, you know things are bad.

Meanwhile, that old Boston Celtics team is starting to look like the old Boston Celtics team—winning five in a row and seven of their last 10 games. And while ‘Linsanity’ is dead and gone, the Knicks are still surging, going 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Sixer’s last 10 games? 4-6. That four seed is now a seven going into the final month of the season. LeBron James was able to score a season high 41 points for the Dwayne Wade-less Heat while the Sixer’s gave up 17 turnovers, giving Miami the sweep over the Sixer’s in their 4 matchups this season. The loss in Miami was also the 11th straight for the Sixer’s against the superior Miami Heat.

A first round matchup against LeBron and Co. would be the absolute worst case scenario for the 7-6, and unfortunately, that’s the way things are shaking up. After a loss at home to the lowly Raptors tonight, with just 7 points in the 4th and just 22 points in the second half, this team is in serious trouble. With one game left against the Celtics still on the schedule, and two against the Magic and Pacers, things could get worse. I’m not just talking about a first round knockout to Miami or Chicago, I’m talking about being on the outside looking in.

If the Sixers can’t catch a second wind, and soon, we’ll be back to talking about mascots.


4 Responses to “RAGS TO RICHES TO RAGS”

  1. AJ
    5. April 2012 at 10:51

    We’ve been dreadful in the past few months, everyone is looking tired out there. The sixers started making a name for themselves for their tough defense at the beginning of the season, but that is all gone, especially when you let Toronto score 99 and lose by 20+.

    At this point I’m hoping we can just make the playoffs, the division is pretty much out of our hands at this point. Boston is just playing too good right now. After we lose the first round to Miami (if we even make it there), the Sixers need to make some changes this off season, they need to get someone who can consistently make some shots.

  2. Sloetry
    5. April 2012 at 11:57

    I’m still not ready to be overly critical with Doug Collins because of what he has achieved. I am still convinced the mid to long term outlook for the Sixers is good (ie. beyond this season) as youngsters will grow and the team will rise with them. I am still convinced that lack of training and true coaching time is killing the Sixers season. There’s no time to practice offenses that break the blue print other teams have to hit us with.
    I am not convinced at the teams inability (note i say the team because I’m really not ready to go at DC) to manage players time…. two very promising big men getting no minutes while the team fatigues around them. I am not convinced at the teams inability to manage a very promising player in ET. I am not convinced by the teams inability to select shots nor play in the 4th quarter.
    I am still not an advocate for trading out of this situation. In many ways Spencer has done the team a favor. There’s no way he can demand to be overpaid after this season. At the start of his contract year it looked like we might be paying big money if keeping him. Now we don’t have to because his market price shouldn’t have risen much.
    Due to contract size, I would trade AI even though I don’t underestimate his value on D. And our bigs should be being earmarked to replace EB, and being developed accordingly. Again EB could be cut. In fact if we let AI and EB for fair returns, the team might dip initially, but the regrowth potential with the youngsters around could set up a very good team over a two year development period.

  3. Ronnie
    5. April 2012 at 23:05

    Just a question for any readers, and blog contributors:

    What are your opinions on the quality of our core? Do we actually have a bright future with Jrue, Evan, Lavoy, and Nik (and Jodie)? EB isn’t going to be around forever, and I just can’t see Iggy sticking around for too long.. Are we going to be back in the lottery soon?

  4. KRS1
    6. April 2012 at 12:24

    I am disgusted with this team as of late. Literally the only Philadelphia team i enjoy watching, cant beat the raptors? There’s no excuses. Is the Speights trade coming back to haunt us? Seems like he could provide some kind of scoring punch off the bench as of late and maybe our players wouldn’t be so tired by now. Who knows what management is thinking but playing it safe seems like the logic. I do love the tony allen pick up but where has he been? Cant that guy hit a three in the corner? Play defense? My favorite payer in Vucevic has been hidden deep on the bench, im sure it is fatigue since he really has been playing all year(besides the past month) but why cant he give elton and hawes breathers? The offense needs hawes to get back into his rhythm otherwise this season is dead in the water.
    I do not see Elton or AI9 back next year and quite honestly dont really want them back. I rather take a year off and let our young players find themselves. Thad should be a starter for the money he is making and how will ever know what turner will become when he gets 35 minutes one night and 20 the next?a 2013 lottery pick doesn’t sound so bad right about now
    This team looks like its going to be lost for a very long time and there are not many solutions to acquire in future decisions. Elton has to be released and we have tog et as much value for Iggy as possible. Al jefferson anyone?

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