For the Division, Pt. II: Sixers-Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center

For the Division, Pt. II: Sixers-Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center
March 23, 2012, 1:52 pm
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Well, that game against the Knicks sure sucked. Spencer Hawes looked
legitimately rusty for the first time all season, Bad Evan Turner
appears to have fully taken over for the time being, and Andre Iguodala
again played an excellent first three quarters but came up well short in
the clutch, missing an open layup late in the game that effectively
doomed the team's chances. Not only did the 82-79 loss allow the
suddenly surging Knicks to gain another game on us in the Atlantic, it
also opened the door for the Celtics to take the division lead from us
tonight at the WFC, as the Boys in Green are now just a half-game behind
us in the standings.

It gets worse. With a loss tonight, we
don't just cede lead in the division, we could drop all the way to the
seventh in the standings—in other words, exactly where we were last year
when we got steamrolled by the Miami Heat in the first round. And if
you wanna get really doom and gloom about it, a loss tonight
combined with a Milwaukee win in Charlotte—the latter an all-but-certain
occurrence given the Bobcats' dismal season—would put the Sixers just
3.5 games above water in the Eastern post-season hunt, suddenly fearing
not only for home-court advantage playoffs, but just getting there at
all. Yikes.

So, we must ask: Where have you gone, Good Evan Turner? The
Extraterrestrial all but resurrected our season a little over two weeks
ago against this team in this building, when he went off for 26 points
in three quarters against the Celtics, kicking off a stretch of play
that almost made us believe we might have actually gotten the
second-best player in the 2010 draft after all. But the last four games
have been nearly as bad as that was good, making us worry about ET's
apparently bi-polar nature, on and possibly off the court. Can he get
his form back against the opponent that helped start it all? Lord, are
we hoping so.

8:00 tip from the WFC, in yet another nationally televised contest. San
Antonio coming up next (in San Antonio), and we're catching Boston on
the second night of a back-to-back, so a win tonight is all but
imperative to keep the team afloat in the Atlantic. There's still a good
team in here somewhere, and Coach Collins has 19 games left to figure
out how to locate it.

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