Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: Bone (on Bone) Thugs and Harmony

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

This is the 80th game of the season for both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. And while the Sixers will spend most of the day celebrating the past, they should take a moment to look across the court towards the future.

In some ways, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the team that many want the Philadelphia 76ers to be.

On the surface, the previous sentence may appear to be a mistake. After all, the Sixers have a better record from the Cavs, and are (sadly) only a few wins removed from playoff contention.

But as history as shown us, mediocrity is akin to a death sentence in the NBA. Under the league's current competitive structure, it's better to be bad than it is to be average, and Cleveland is as bad as they come.

Even so, the Cavs are a promising franchise centered around a dazzling young point guard (Kyrie Irving), and they're only a couple of drafts/smart offseasons away from making some noise in Eastern Conference. There's little preventing the Sixers from following that same blueprint, but in order to do so, they have to be willing to take a step or two backward in order to take a few steps forward. If they don't, then the team's title drought will continue well into its fourth decade.

During the game against the Cavs - the last home contest of the season - the 76ers will celebrate the accomplishments of the 1982-83 team that captured Philadelphia's last professional basketball championship some 30 years ago.

And on what usually would have been Fan Appreciation Day down at the Wells Fargo Center, we here at Liberty Ballers would like to take a moment to express our appreciation and gratitude to those of you who have hung with us over these past six months. We've been through a lot this year - most of it unpleasant - and if losing builds character, then we're all better people after this train wreck of a season.

There was the emergence of Jrue Holiday, followed by the brief love affair with Swaggy P. Jason Richardson sprained his ankle landing on a cameraman, and then he injured his knee by... just being old.

Maalik Wayns and Shelvin Mack both made an impression during their brief stints as Sixers, while Kwame Brown has been here all year and we've barely seen him. And between Orthokine, bone bruises, and cartilage grown in Petri dishes, we all became medical experts thanks to the presence (or lack thereof) of one Andrew Bynum.

We'll always remember this year as the season that Thaddeus Young proved that he could be a solid option at power forward. The season that Damien Wilkins shot better than 49 percent after the All-Star Break. The season that the Sixers took (and missed) more long 2s than any other team in the league.

There were times where it seemed like Doug Collins spent more time looking at the box scores of Maurice Harkless and Nik Vucevic than he did coaching Arnett Moultrie. It wasn't too long ago that Adam Aron gave Collins a vote of confidence at a recent town hall meeting, and now reports are that the front office wants their head coach to walk away from the final year of his deal.

With the end of the season-long marathon finally in sight, we're left with more questions than we had at the beginning of the year. Are the Sixers willing to cut their losses with Bynum? Will the team bring back Collins for a lame duck season? Should we be worried about Holiday's lack of production at the end of the year? Does Evan Turner fit into the team's long-term plans?

No matter how you look at it, the Sixers are clearly at a crossroads...

*************************

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Tha Crossroads (DJ U-Neek Sixers Remix)

Bone Bone Bone Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone
Now tell me whatcha gonna do
When Moultrie gets no run
When judgment comes for you, when judgment comes for you
Now tell me whatcha gonna do
When we only play for pride
When judgment comes for you (Cause it's gonna come for you)

Head south, bring it in for Marc Z., Malik and even Molly
There's Blue, but Doug's got him and I'm gonna miss everybody
When Bynum collected a wage, we wondered when he would play
And then there's Swaggy P, Nick's too deep for me to say
Back when Kwame came to me, told me if he could sit out, well then please
Bury him on that bench was the plan, and when you can, DNP-CD

Doug bless you working on a plan for winning
Ride in the tank all 24/7 days
Lucy's who we praise
Even though Adam Aron's all up in my face
But he keeping me safe and in my place, say grace
For the case to tank, we couldn't even give a nudge
Our draft position won't budge
We live in a world that's Doug's
Ooh what can I do, it's all about the Sixers and how we roll
Can I get a witness, let it unfold
We living our lives, no Oladipo, aye-oh-aye-oh

Prayyyyyyy, and we pray and we pray, and we pray, and we pray
That the guy that we take at 11 can play
And we pray, and we pray, and we pray, and we pray
In 9th place
Now listen up real slow
Losing games is Heaven
Come let's go take a visit of people that's long gone
Shelvin, Maalik, Maurice, Nik Vuc
We still wish they were part of the family
Exactly how many games we got lasting
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away
So y'all go rest y'all souls
Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads
Y'all know y'all forever got love from the Night Shift, baby

Mo Cheeks is long gone
Really wish he would come home
But I want to pick high
Can't believe my eyes
All a lil' fan can do is cry, cry
Why they trade my dog, remember
When we had Sir Charles y'all
and he shoudn't be gone, from his first home
When didn't know who was wrong
Oh so wrong, oh so wrong
Gotta hold on gotta stay strong
When the day comes
Moses Malone got a shoulder you can lean on (lean on)
Hey... and we pray, and we pray, and we pray, and we pray
That the guy that we take at 11 can play
and we pray, and we pray, and we pray, and we pray
That the guy that we take at 11 can play

Sixers at the crossroads
Where's Marc Iavaroni?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where is Andrew Toney?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where's Marc Iavaroni?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where is Andrew Toney?

And I'm gonna miss everybody
And I'm gonna miss everybody
(when Doug's gone)
And I'm gonna miss everybody
And I'm gonna miss everybody
And I'm gonna miss everybody
(when Doug's gone)
And I'm gonna miss everybody

Winning in a tanking world sending us straight to Hell (That's how we roll)
Winning in a tanking world sending us straight to Hell (That's how we roll)
Winning in a tanking world sending us straight to Hell (That's how we roll)
I turn and ask Coach Collins "Why?" and sigh
He told me that we play for pride

What's up with that winning y'all, Damien Wilkins and Thaddeus Young
You're doing it wrong, you must not read our blog
Then Coach Collins wanted Ivey to ball,
and nobody's quitting and Doug intended on ending it when it ends
Wanna win again, again and again
Now tell me what's he gonna do

Can somebody anybody tell me why?
Hey... can somebody anybody tell me why we can't pick high?
Just want to pick high...

Ohhh so wrong
Ohhhhh wrong
Ohhh so wrong
Ohhhhh wrong

Sixers at the crossroads
Where's Marc Iavaroni?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where is Andrew Toney?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where's Marc Iavaroni?
Sixers at the crossroads
Where is Andrew Toney?

For tickets to Cavs/Sixers, click here: TiqIQ

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