After working through many emotions, I've decided that last night in Portland was perfection. Once again, this team took the floor against one of the best teams in the league and punched them in the mouth. The Blazers, like the Heat in Game 1, predictably got off the mat and landed what should have been a couple of knockout blows of their own. But our 76ers, beatiful disaster that they are, dug in their heels down 9 the 3rd and beat the best in their backyard. Sixers are resilient, and afraid of no one. This I attribute to five letters. BB - MCW.
A lot can be said about Brett Brown, but at the core he is an inspirational leader. To a man I think they run thru a brick wall for the guy. He has this team playing with heart from game one, taking it right to the best in the league. And this past week, they've started to play with their head as well, most notably on the defensive end. We could not have asked for a better coach for this group, very much like Bill O'Brien was year one with Penn St. Our team has bought in, and their beginning to realize their potential collectively.
As for MCW, you really can't argue with 11-11 vs 1-10. Too big of a sample size to ignore. Don't want to diminish all of the other stats, or the contributions of others. But the eye test very obviously says we are a different team with him on the floor. Since the first play of the first game he has exuded a confidence and fearlessness that you can't teach. Usually that trait is reserved for gunners and volume shooters. But he possesses it while making people better in his rookie year on a talent strapped team. That is rare, and to me, that's why he's special. His physical tools are excellent, but it's his head that sets him apart.
Contributions have come from everywhere. Thad is a revelation. We thought we knew what Thad was, but I'm not sure anyone knew he possessed this extra gear. Looks like he just needed to get pissed off and a little selfish. Evan and Spence, regardless off history-have turned into the best version of themselves under Brown. The rest of the squad is garbage into gold courtesy of Hinkie and Brown.
I feel like we are at a crossroads this morning. IMO, our 3-game streak to start the season showed a lot about this team, but was fools gold. This 4 game streak could be the beginning of a playoff run. And why I instinctively love watching this team win, we all know this is terrible for us if we plan to build through the draft. Despite all the panic, there are 49 games left. More than enough time to lose our way back to where we want to be.
But I believe we figured something out these past 4 games. We are playing as a team on both ends, gaining cohesiveness and playing together. There is enough talent on this team to be dangerous, and if we continue to let this play out sans injury, we just might win the division this year. However, it's nothing a few injuries/subractions from the lineup couldnt fix.
Either let this team keep developing, and suffer the consequences of winning this season. Or Sit MCW and start deealing assets. But unlike the happy streak that started the season, we will play over .500 this month if we don't change the roster. How do we want to build our team? If its with a top 4 pick, now is the time to Tinker Hinkie.
Last nights end of game was perfection because it presents us with this window. We could legitimately sit MCW for a while if we want. Or, of course, shake up the roster with trades too. If your on the 'Trade Thad' train, his value has never been higher. Evan and Spence are playing well on a hot team. But trades are contigent upon other teams cooperating.
This injury our team alone is in total control of. So the question is this... Assuming MCW is fine and able to continue, which I believe he likely is, do you: