Who would've guessed that out of that four-team blockbuster deal from
over the summer—which included two franchise-type players in Dwight
Howard and Andrew Bynum, an All-Star Olympian in Andre Iguodala, and a
couple accomplished NBA vets in Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington, the two
players traded that would arguably be of greatest impact to the 2012-13
season would be Earl Clark and Nikola Vucevic? Clark, an NBA washout
since his lottery selection by Phoenix in 2009, has stabilized the
Lakers on both offense and defense since replacing Pau Gasol in the
starting lineup, and Vucevic looks like a steal for the Magic as their
new starting center, posting double-doubles in 15 of his last 17 games.
course, the team that the Magic "stole" Vucevic from was the one he
visits for the first time tonight since being traded—the Philadelphia
76ers. Vooch started his rookie season with the Sixers last year (after
being drafted with the 17th pick in 2011) looking like a nice find, but
found his way into Doug Collins' doghouse for reasons largely
undisclosed and did not play at all in the post-season but for three
minutes of garbage time. He was deemed expendable this
summer—understandably so, considering the player we believed to be
getting—and dealt away for Bynum, who has posted 100% fewer
double-doubles than Vucevic this season from his position at the end of
No regrets there, but it'd still be annoying if Vooch
had a really good game tonight and the Sixers lost, just on principle.
Of course, the Sixers have gone a whole week without losing a basketball
game now, winning an incredible two games in a row over that timespan,
against the Wizards and Kings (combined record as of writing: 28-67),
respectively. They could make it an absolutely astounding three in a row
tonight with a win against the Magic, one of the few other teams in the
NBA crappy enough to deserve being listed alongside the Wizards and
Kings, and losers of nine in a row going into tonight. If they can't
make it three straight against these hosers, they can't make it three
straight against nobody.
7:00 tip from the WFC. Apparently these two teams don't shoot a lot of free throws between them, so you might make it back home from this one in time for the end of RAW, if that's an important thing to you.