Boos. 4th quarter minutes for Hollis Thompson and Brandon Davies. Furious Brett Brown timeouts. Chants of "AN-DREW WIG-GINS." Now that's the kind of basketball we expected at the Wells Fargo Center this season. None of this miracle win crap. Just losing and humiliation and one very, very sad Malik Rose.
The Sixers lost by a lot of points tonight--20, though really it was twice that when the two teams shook hands and agreed to let the farmhands close things out. No more crazy comebacks. No more Wells Fargo Center roof raising. No more Eastern Conference Player of the Week Michael Carter-Williams. The L was the Sixers' for the taking tonight, and finally, they took.
If you wanted to take positives from the evening, I guess there were two:
1. Evan Turner was impressive in the second quarter, overcoming a slow start (and stifling Andre Iguodala defense) to finish with 18 points on 7-12 shooting, with seven rebounds and one assist (though five turnovers) in just 25 minutes of gametime--a fine effort for both the 76ers and my fantasy basketball team, the Hola Oladipos.
2. My fantasy league doesn't count turnovers.
That's about it. MCW had by far his worst game as a pro, going 4-17 from the floor with six turnovers. (All of that good stuff he was doing? Not so much tonight.) Spencer Hawes had by far his Spencer Hawesiest game of the season, missing a bunch of shots from close range, committing a couple really silly turnovers, losing out on a whole bunch of rebounds (including to his own teammates), and falling down a couple times for no real reason. Thaddeus Young was basically invisible. Of the ten Sixers who played 12 or more minutes tonight, all but two had multiple turnovers--and one of those two was TO machine Tony Wroten, somehow.
Bad as the offense was tonight, it had nothing on the defense, which let up way too many layups in transition and wayyyyyyyy too many open looks from behind the arc. Many of those looks were to our old friend Andre Iguodala, who ended up with 32 points (two off a career high, and more than he's had in any game since he was on the '09-'10 Sixers) on a career-best seven three-pointers. 'Dre also had some highlight plays that are worth watching even for Sixer fans, but Enrico already took care of those and they're a little too embarrassing to the home team to post on this website twice. (Stephen Curry also had a triple-double for the Dubs, if you're into that sort of thing.)
Thanks to the Golden State Warriors, I suppose, for being the obnoxious alarm clock blaring in the ear of the Sixers' dream start to the season. It was fun while it lasted, but now it's over--like, really over--and the true work of the Sixers' season can begin.
Where does this team go from here? Do they stay competitive in their slate of upcoming games--none of which are particularly easy, by the way--or do they let one momentum-sapping L drag their season down to the abyss, where everyone predicted this season to start and to stay? Does the Wiggins-led pull of tanking just take over? Will we see the Sixers of the first three games again? Is it too late to trade Spencer Hawes already?
All questions worth sticking around to find out the answers to, starting Wednesday night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. For tonight, though, we say goodbye to both the undefeated Sixers, and the suddenly much-coveted NBA Championship Belt that now belongs to the Golden State Warriors. Until we meet again, old friend.