The biggest game in Philadelphia sports tonight takes place in Los Angeles, as the Sixers meet the Lakers in a pivotal cross-conference tilt.
We're expecting two light Game Thread nights here at LB and Silver Screen and Roll since our Eagles and their Cowboys play each other for the NFC East crown. But, alas, the NBA stops for no one - not even for Shady McCoy. And I'll get to the lovable losers from LA in a minute, but I would be negligent not to mention that I met almost every LB writer live and in person on Monday.
And, goodness gracious, are these people strange. A bunch of bridge trolls, all of 'em. Frankly, I'm surprised they all live in their mother's basement. I'd relegate them to a cellar or a bomb shelter or something even further underground.
Let's go to the scouting report.
Mike Levin: I've met Mike a few times, so the book is out on him. He won't step outside without a tight striped t-shirt on, and won't return home without a 3 AM cheesesteak. Well past midnight, while stuffing his gullet with Mac N' Cheese at my apartment, he declared Mrs. Doubtfire as the "greatest film in the last thirty years." He passed out in his underwear soon thereafter.
Tanner: I certainly know Tanner, and am one more Steidel visit away from charging him rent. Tanner rocked a leather jacket; he looked like Uncle Jesse without the cool hair, beautiful wife, #1 hit power ballad, blossoming advertising career, and overall coolness. Other than that - just like Uncle Jesse. We tried to arrange a Tanner vs. Roy Pop-A-Shot contest, but Roy cowered behind Belgian beer.
"It's three times stronger than American beer," said Roy lamely.
Roy: Wore a Shawn Michaels t-shirt and Rockers tassels. I wasn't sure if Roy was a Sixers blogger or the front man for Twisted Sister. I've never seen someone try to shoehorn Marty Jannetty into every conversation, yet, there was Roy, rattling off Jannetty's career accomplishments while Jake and I were discussing Obama Care and other important social issues.
Jake P: The little brother I always wanted. Jake wants to follow Uncle Tanner's footsteps to Maryland, because I assume he doesn't have the grades to get into Niagara University. (The Harvard of Western New York, FTW).
Not only did Jake get into the Field House, but he tried to take the party to Atlantic City. Come on, ‘lil bro. I told my wife I'd be home by 11.
Brandon: Brandon is seven inches taller than the last time I saw him. Three Eastern Conference GMs walked into the Field House and attempted to sign Gowton to a 10-day contract. While the rest of us (of age) were drinking beers, Brandon was showing rival execs his drop step and mid-range jumper at the Pop-A-Shot.
Oh, Brandon guaranteed a Birds win tonight.
Nick Young Love
Nick Young Love
Sean: Arguably the nicest of the writers and maybe the nicest guy in the world. Sean has a real passion for Central Michigan quarterbacks, and when he's not writing about the Sixers or watching Dan LeFevour game film, he spends his free time auditing people.
I think he lives in Utah or Utica or something.
Rich: Rich said that he would do just about anything to have Fordham qualify for the A-10 Tournament. It was one of the saddest admissions I've ever heard. I didn't know whether to hug Rich or smother him with a pillow.
He also took John Skelton in the 2nd round of his Fantasy Draft and named his goldfish, "Smush Parker."
Justin F: Only person on the planet who watched the Beef O' Brady's Bowl. Said Ohio U. never got their run game going.
Mike B and Jake F.: DNP-CD.
The Lakers enter the game under .500. They just lost Kobe Bryant, again, after he suffered a knee injury that is expected to keep him out six weeks. The Lakers are fading into irrelevance; a balding man clinging to his last few strands of hair. There still is Pau Gasol and two battled-tested but currently injured warriors in Kobe and Steve Nash, but the rest of this roster is like a who's who of flawed NBA talent.
Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake, Wesley Johnson: These aren't guys who are supposed to be on the Lakers. These are the type of players who should be toiling in Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, or any other city than Los Angeles. If history is any guide, the Lakers' rotation should be filled out with aging Hall of Famers - Nash, Malone, Payton, etc, etc. Guys with name appeal.
LA inked the 35 year-old Bryant to a two-year extension worth $48.5 million. The new contract seems more like a "Thank you for your lifelong services" rather than a savvy business move. LA sees your Ryan Howard, Rube, and raises you one Kobe. The Lakers will get another superstar. They always do. But it won't be LeBron, and it may not be for a while.
Da Bad Guys: Silver Screen and Roll
Prediction: 113-101 Lakers