Imagine you have a game. Let’s say a soccer game, because, well, because I feel like it. One team races out of the gates to a stunningly huge lead against a team they are pretty even with skill wise. Maybe, they reach half time in full control, up 3-0 and looking unstoppable. Playing like this, they should be a top five team.
After halftime, the tide starts to turn, but still, they have such a big lead. With 35 minutes left, the other team, after much pestering, grabs one goal back. It could still make for an interesting finish, but coming back all the way is highly unlikely. Still, they press forward, and score another goal with 10 minutes left, and now looked prime for a goal to tie the game up. Everyone watching is all of a sudden pessimistic about the team that started so brightly, and wonder how they could now be performing so badly. Even if they hang on, unless they dominate the end of the game, people will ask questions about the team.
But is that really fair? A tie was expected going in, so a win, no matter how, should be something to celebrate, no? Obviously they would want to fix the second half, but still, it would be a successful game. And oh wait, even if they tied, how bad would that be. Isn’t it unfair to say one team had a better game when on dominated the first half and one dominated the second half? Sure it seems like a missed chance, but for the team that came back, it is as well. If they could have played with the second half performance in the first half, they could of won.
I guess by now you can figure out what I am alluding to, and that is the Sixers season. Before the year, many expected the Sixers to be around or a little above .500 while finishing about third in the Atlantic division. Now obviously, with the Celtics and Knicks both being much worse than expected, you could say the Sixers should take advantage and win the division, but the record still isn’t bad. If I had said the 7-6 would be 27-22 at this point in the season, you probably would have taken. Now if I had thrown in that they would’ve been 20-9 at one point, you would be disappointed. See, isn’t that unfair? We are just punishing them for when they’re wins have come.
A thirty six win season would’ve been considered pretty much a success in the beginning of the year, and that is still very much achievable, with wins in just 9 of their final seventeen games necessary. I am not saying that you should be that happy with the Sixers start, but a little perspective would be nice, rather than punishing the team for coming out on such a hot streak.
And if that’s not enough for you, think of it this way. If the Sixers were to have kept winning and somehow get the three seed, they would most likely play Miami in the second round. The Sixers ain’t beaten the Heat, the matchup is just so bad. So getting the four seed is their best chance at getting the farthest. No, they probably cannot beat the Bulls, but it is the best chance that they have of getting past the second round.
So please, before we start talking about how disappointing this year has been, think of the expectations, and where the team actually is. It’s not as bad as you think.