I’m just taking a small look into the season. I’ll be doing player grades and stuff like that later. I’ll also have a brief preview of the off-season when the finals are over. I guess I should mention that I’m also your new editor here at The Sixer Sense. Sean needed to focus on his accounting career. As a fellow accounting student myself, I can understand what he’s going through at some level. We wish him well in his future endeavors. And we thank him for all he’s done for this blog too. He did a great job and I hope I can at least keep things running. I can’t promise you I’ll be like Sean, I can only be Dante. I’ll do my best to give you great Sixers content. Kyle, Stephane, and Danny will be doing their thing too.
If there was one thing we really learned about this team is that we’re not close to a championship. But, we have a better idea of what we need. Mainly a solid big man and a consistent scorer. Still, this has been one of the most exciting seasons I’ve seen as a Sixers fan since 2000-2001. I mean, it’s not like a lot has happened in the past decade but this would still be an eventful season.
This was my first lockout season. So many games in so little time is a fan’s dream. I don’t know how NFL fans hang on for a week. And I can see where MLB fans come from. Sixers started off strong. Spencer Hawes was a new player. It was so out of control I developed theories on how Spencer Hawes seemed to play actual basketball. The whole team was matching historical records like largest victory margin on average. It was blow out after blowout. I was one of the party poopers because it didn’t mean much to me.
Oh it was a good sign that the Sixers were beating teams they were supposed to beat. Last season, you worried they would lose to the worst teams. This time, they got the job done early and were not playing with fire. But there was one thing in the back of my mind: How good are they in close games? There were so many blowouts we didn’t get a real chance to see if they improved on one of the most harmful game attributes last season.
All-Star weekend was fun. Evan Turner played in that Rising Stars game on Team Chuck (Charles Barkley). I was satisfied with his performance; he represented the Sixers well. And then Andre Iguodala finally. Finally. FINALLY. Was named to the All-Star game as the Sixers were sitting on top of their division. And you had to love how well he played. It was a happy time. I said either once or twice that the Sixers would win their division. There were still doubts about whether the Sixers were playing well because they were facing bad teams, or they were finally legit. It didn’t help that whenever they faced a good team, a key player was missing.
But, the schedule after AS weekend was a lot more tough for the Sixers. Besides the fact that they would be on the road more, but it would be vs much better teams than who they were literally destroying to start the season. Then the Sixers lost 5 games in a row. Even after that, they were still hanging onto their division. I said that, even though I was convinced the Sixers were going to win their division, if they dropped from on top of their division, they would not be able to get it back.
I was expecting the Sixers to sort of come back to earth. I wasn’t a firm believer that the Sixers were indeed a contender. There were just too many holes that I saw in their 30+ point blowouts. I never would have expected the Sixers to quit on the season though. One example of how bad it was is that a few of us here at The Sixer Sense were planning on going to a game together. The game was a couple of weeks away. By the week of the game, we decided not to go, mainly because the Sixers were playing to poorly and lifeless. It was like: if they’re not going to even play the game, why bother showing up?
And then the rumors started flying. Collins finally lost his team. Evan Turner and coach Collins would probably be the next Latrell Sprewell and P. J. Carlesimo*. Lou Williams already left the Sixers. Stuff like that.
*This is what we call an exaggeration.
At this point, I thought it would be best to miss the playoffs altogether. The Sixers were playing so poorly, I figured they would be completely embarrassed come playoff time. They fell all the way down to 7/8th place and guaranteed themselves a meeting vs the Heat or Bulls in the playoffs. No thanks. I go frustrated because I felt that the season was really a waste. Why? Because before the season started, my main goal was to see Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday develop. Let’s see if we can build a team around them. Just play them together for as much as possible. But then the quick start happened and that meant player development took a back seat. I was kinda okay with that because I wanted to see the Sixers win the division and potentially get to the second round. I’ll explain this in greater detail later. This is a brief review.
So the season ended and the Sixers were to face the Bulls in round one. I saw Sixers losing in 6 games. Fine. Game one went according to plan. It wasn’t really a blowout, but Sixers were clearly in for a long series. For me, the game was all but over and Derrick Rose was still in the game. And then he came down awkwardly on his knee and he tore his ACL. Season over. At this point, Sixers fans all over have to be feeling a bit better about their chances. And, sure enough, the Sixers were able to get past the Bulls in 6 games.
Then the Celtics. At this point of the post, I’m leaving my emotions out for the most part. Later you’ll understand. Anyway, Sixers pretty much blew game one away. They came back and did their thing in game 2. I said Sixers in 6 by the way. Anyway, the whole series was ugly. Neither team played as well as we’re used to seeing. I was at game 6. It wasn’t my first Sixers game but it was my first playoff game. It was quite an atmosphere. Sixers won that game. At this point I’ll mention that the Sixers have never lost a game while I was in attendance. I’m now accepting donations for season tickets.
But in all seriousness, we had a roundtable for game 7. I felt that the Sixers would keep it close but I was scared of their well known late game collapses. I was kinda right although who would have thought that Rajon Rondo would all of a sudden hit those shots like that? Really? Please understand that this was part of the game plan. Let Rondo have those shots. If I’m the coaching staff of the Sixers, I keep telling the team to let him shoot while I pay attention to the deadly Garnett and Bass jumpers. Rondo just made some good shots. I can’t be mad at the Sixers for their strategy. I would do it again. Maybe play Rondo tighter but those were some Lou Williams type shots he was hitting.
Anyway, the season ended after that and now we’re left wondering about this team’s future. Who’s staying? Who’s going? Are we blowing it up? This off-season seems to be shaping up to be one of the more eventful off-seasons we’ve had since probably the Elton Brand signing. It’s our first time with the new ownership as last off-season was a bit shortened.
Give a round of applause for your guys. They did a great job. They made noise in Philly and in the NBA. Now it’s time to build off of that.