After the "blockbuster trade" involving Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, it wasn't hard to imagine that the Lakers and Sixers would be in similar positions come All-Star break; perhaps even having nearly identical records, and that is exactly the case. Just in the worst possible way, with both teams on the outside looking in.
So it's not surprising most of these posts are all doom and gloom, but ever the optimist, I'd like to point out the silver lining.
I should start off with the obligatory disclaimer: Wishing injuries on any team (even the damn Knicks) is dispicable, and I think I speak for everybody when I say I'd like see all those hurt have a quick and successful rehab.
However.... in the attempt to gain that "star" and "compimentary scorer" we've all been praying for since, well, Iverson, we got sold not one but two lemons. The price was steep. Sure we wanted to dump Iggy's contract, but usually when you dump contracts you get draft picks, young players, and something to build around. We lost four (yes four) first round picks: 2 futures, this years, and last years. That sucks, doesn't it?
Luckily Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young decided to have career years and that's kept us withing striking distance, and a the teams cloes enough to strike are having some problems of their own right now. Namely the Milwaukee Bucks, tomorrow's opponent, and really the only team within reach right now.
Who would have thought Larry Sanders would be an MVP on a team with names like Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and Ersan Ilyasova (remember before the Bynum trade, the latter two were hot topics around here). Well that seems to be the case, Sanders was putting together a strong bid for defensive player of the year on a team that desperately needed one.
Kenneth Faried collided with him mid-air in late in a tie game at Denver (really nasty injury, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIuxFIuA-sI about half-way through) he hurt his back, and directly after the injury you can watch Denver go on a scoring rampage and win the game.
Since then the Bucks have lost every one of their three games. Also each team has scored at least 100 points. Which might not seem too significant until you realize those teams were Utah, Detroit, and Washington. They miss his defense a lot.
Now the injury seems to be more serious than once determined. Sanders himself has said "He's never been in so much pain before" and it's being called a "bone bruise". Sound familiar? He's going in for a second opinion, which to me sound like he's considering surgery.
IF the Bucks do not have Sanders back anytime soon, I do believe you can expect more of the same. We'll certainly see tomorrow night, how we handle them. They're trying to break a four game skid, and we're trying to overcome Clippers game I've already forgotten about.But wouldn't that be interesting, our season gets ruined by our dominant big man with a bone bruise and it seems all hope is lost, and then the team right in front of us encounters the same problem. And if you believe in bigfoot, our savior is coming back soon after the all star break. Tomorrow will tell, but I really feel the karmic shift here. I imagine with Sanders out we'll at least be able to catch Boston and get a shot at the reigning NBA champs. Which could be more interesting than you think. If (operative word) Mr. Bynum is healthy and playing to his full capacity, Miami has absolutely no answer for a low post scorer of that stature. I'd like to see it. They'll be forced to play offensive inept Joel Anthony, taking away the high scoring ultra hybrid lineup they like to run, and it'll be.... interesting.
But maybe I'm way ahead of myself, just i feel the karmic waves shifting in our favor.
Feel free to laugh and scoff at this post if and when we lose to the Bucks tomorrow. I will be happy to join the doom and glooom at that point, because I mean come on, losing back-back-back-back Denver, Utah, Detroit, Washington. Each team getting a little worse, until you're still getting blown out by bottom feeders. Even the horrible 76ers have yet to do that.