Every few days, I scour the standings of the Eastern Conference looking for signs of life. Once you get past Indiana and Miami, it's like looking to your bench and choosing either Greg Dobbs or Wes Helms.
"Dobbsy, grab a bat. No, Wes, grab a bat. No, give me Dobbsy. No, give me Helmsy. Wait, is that Mini Mart over there? Mini Mart, grab a bat."
It's a sad state of affairs in the East. Brooklyn is dysfunctional. The Knicks hate their coach. Half the state of Wisconsin is on the DL, and the Bulls, bless their injured hearts, just signed D.J. Augustin. I actually lost feeling in my extremities while watching the Bulls/Knicks game the other night. It was an odd sensation. One minute, I'm watching Kirk Hinrich shoot a contested jumper. The next, I'm communicating with my wife through a series of blinks.
But if the Bobby Hoying Era is my guide, then this numbness is just temporary. Doctors say I should regain feeling in my arms and legs around halftime of Game 1 of the Celtics/Bobcats series on NBA TV.
Which leads to our Sixers. A month ago, this team nearly tore the LB Community apart at the seams. Guys and girls were firmly entrenched into either Camp #TeamChill or Camp #TeamDon'tTellMeToChill. Relationships ended. New friendships formed.
But then something funny happened. The Sixers lost often and lost badly. My Sixers Schedule refrigerator magnet is now flooded with L's, and life is all flowers and sausages again. Losses brought us back together, mended those hurt feelings. The sun again peaked through the dark clouds of the Game Threads. We are again united. Our tanks full. Our expectations empty.
But even after dropping eight of nine contests, the Sixers sit just four-and-a-half games out of the #4 seed. All of this losing and scoreboard watching is draining. I write once every six months, and yet don't have one fresh idea in my little head. I'm mush. So I'm stealing one from Bill Simmons. I know, I know. Lame. But I got the OK from my buddies, Cousin Roy and Tanner-O, so it's cool.
The Sixers season in Home Alone quotes.
Megan McCallister: "Kevin, you're completely helpless."
Linnie McCallister: "You're what the French call, ‘les incompetents.'"
To the Sixers defense who is making the early 80s Nuggets look like the '91 Eagles. Let's take a closer at the metrics:
Traditional Stats: The Sixers are giving up 111.7 PPG (30th of 30).
Advanced Stats: The Sixers Defensive Rating is 109.6 (28th of 30).
Dave Stats: The Sixers give up a shit-ton of points, huh?
Not your Bobby Jones' Sixers anymore. And this is a typical Wednesday night at the Rueter household:
7:20: Puts on Sixers game.
Wife rolls her eyes and grabs Fifty Shades of Gray.
7:22: Says out loud, "Can't believe we're down 23-8 already."
Wife reaches for bottle of red wine.
7:28: Recalls Dana Barros' Top-10 pull-up jumpers in transition (descending order) during commercial break.
"Who is this Dana girl you're always talking about? Does she know you're married?"
10:00: Checks Twitter after game. Sees numerous retweets about opposing team breaking some sort of three-pointer record.
Wash, rinse, repeat. The only variable in this scenario is that my wife is now reading the Shades sequel.
There has been discussion recently about whether Brett Brown can effectively coach defense. Admittedly, this season's numbers haven't been promising, but you can't give Wolfgang Puck ground beef and expect him to make filet. I'm all in on Brett Brown. I'd give him a ten-year extension right now. And as a Notre Dame fan, what could possibly go wrong?
Mrs. McCallister: "How could we do this? We forgot him."
Mr. McCallister: "We didn't forget him. We just miscounted."
Mrs. McCallister: "What kind of mother am I?"
Uncle Frank: "If it makes you feel any better, I forgot my reading glasses."
To last year's first round pick, Arnett Moultrie, who was last seen with D.B. Cooper and Jimmy Hoffa. Now, Moultrie is still a member of the team. I just checked the official Sixers website. But the site also had Jeff Ruland listed on the IR, so take that source with a grain of salt.
There are rumors that Moultrie is rehabbing and could return to action soon, but the only true tangible reminder of Moultrie's existence is the playoff ramifications. If the Sixers stumble into the playoffs in the dreadful East - since, by law, eight teams from the East must qualify for the playoffs - they'll hand over their first round pick to Miami. Dougie Collins is the gift that keeps on giving.
‘Tis the season, I guess.
Kevin McCallister: "This is my house. I have to defend it."
Sure they have just a 1-12 road record, but the Sixers have been lights out at home on Tuesdays. My condolences to the Cavs, who visit the Wells Fargo Center on February 18th. Cleveland has a better chance of beating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
And if we toss out road games all together, the Sixers would be 7-8. And that 7-8 record would give them a 12 ½ game lead in the Atlantic Division.
Mrs. McCallister: "He was in the garage again playing with the glue gun."
Mr. McCallister: "Didn't we talk about that?"
Kevin McCallister: "Did I burn down the joint? I don't think so. I was making ornaments out of fish hooks."
To Lorenzo Brown, who has missed sixteen consecutive three-pointers after his making first career attempt against Toronto (Currently sitting at 6%). Tanner and I went to that Raptors game, and after the made triple, Tanner boldly declared that we were watching the next Tim Legler. A bit overzealous, but I chalked up his proclamation to the $14 Rolling Rock tall boys.
At what point does Lo Brown's streak become a thing? If Brown misses his next 30 three-point attempts? 40? How many threes does Lorenzo Brown need to miss before society notices? He's a child acting out. He's looking for attention, love.
Lorenzo, I've noticed. You have my undivided attention. Keep firing.
I've got a good feeling about the next one.
Kevin McCallister: "The 3rd floor?"
Mrs. McCallister: "Go."
Kevin McCallister: "It's scary up there."
Mrs. McCallister: "Don't be silly. Fuller will be up in a little while."
Kevin McCallister: "I don't want to sleep with Fuller. You know about him. He wets the bed. He'll pee all over me. I know it."
Mrs. McCallister: "Fine, we'll put him somewhere else."
To Michael Carter-Williams, who is just a little too good for his britches. The Sixers are 7-10 with MWC, but just 1-10 without him. We're thinking long-term here, Michael, so we're gonna have to go ahead and stuff you in the closet. It's for your own protection. Everything is gonna be fine. We're not gonna hurt you. We'll make sure the duct tape and handcuffs aren't too tight. There are plenty of non-perishables and water. Nana Hinkie knitted you a blanket. We'll let you out sometime in April. Do you see those initials carved out on the wall over there?
Yes, Jerry Stackhouse was here. The Sixers did the same thing in '96. And, look, he turned out fine. Stackhouse actually read Beowolf cover to cover and learned how to play the cello. He said being locked in the closet was an introspective and positive experience.
Besides, do you want to play with Parker, or the seventh Plumlee brother?
Kevin McCallister: "I don't want to see you again for the rest of my whole life. And I don't want to see anybody else either."
To Thaddeus Young, who, per sources, informed the organization that he would like to be traded in the politest and most professional way possible. It makes sense. Thad doesn't want to spend his mid-twenties wasting away on a reclamation project. But I say this from personal experience, Thad. You're not missing much. My mid-to-late twenties were kinda meh. I didn't accomplish much of anything, unless you count figuring out how to finally stop soap from getting in my urethra.
I was wrong on Thad. I was one of the dopes who carried the Al Thornton flag during the '07 draft, which goes to show that I know absolutely nothing about anything. (Although I still believe in Acie Earl). Young is/was a stand-up guy who plays hard and carved out a really solid career. Regardless of how this plays out, we'll always have Game 3, Thad.
Mitch Murphy: "How fast does this thing go? Does it have automatic transmission? Does it have four-wheel drive?"
Airport Driver: "Look, I told you before, kid. Don't bother me. Now beat it."
To LB Blog Lord Mike Levin, who has peppered Hinkie's inbox with trade proposals ever since the Kendall Marshall acquisition. Minutes after the Sevens acquired Marshall, Levin changed his email signature to:
Philadelphia 76ers Assistant GM/Trade Sorcerer
It's a bit odd that an Assistant NBA GM only has a Gmail account, but what do I know?
Kevin McCallister: "Do you guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?"
To you. Tanking's not for the faint of heart, but you're all a strong and resilient bunch. The Sixers have been pummeled for three straight weeks, yet they can't shake ya. Porous defense, a YMCA bench, Evan Turner complaining about no-calls - none of this fazes you.
You're freaks. Addicted. Prospects and trade rumors rumors are your drugs.
See you at the parade in 2017.
Happy Holidays. Have a turtle dove.
- 76ers' Sunday Morning Shootaround: Tough Calls
- A Running Diary Of The Sixers' 116-106 Loss To The Milwaukee Bucks
- Are the Philadelphia 76ers Moving To New Jersey?
- Thaddeus Young Denies Liberty Ballers Report That He Requested Sixers Trade Him
- Evan Turner Struggling Defensively for Brett Brown's Sixers