|January 6, 2014|
|Wells Fargo Center|
|7:00 PM ET|
|Ricky Rubio||PG||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Kevin Martin||SG||Hollis Thompson|
|Corey Brewer||SF||Evan Turner|
|Kevin Love||PF||Thaddeus Young|
|Nikola Pekovic||C||Spencer Hawes|
|2012/13 Advanced Stats|
|100.3 (2)||Pace||102.5 (1)|
|104.9 (10)||ORtg||98.5 (25)|
|102.9 (15)||DRtg||105.6 (25)|
Contradictory things can be true:
1). The Sixers are dooming themselves. In a season where some projected the Sixers to be among the worst teams in NBA history, they have eclipsed the win total of the 1972-73 Sixers by three wins 33 games into the 2013-14 season, including four straight road wins all against teams in the NBA's superior conference. The guarantee of a top four pick is now in such grave jeopardy that trades of Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and Evan Turner are no longer the tanking safeguard once believed. Everything the Sixers planned for this season has gone to hell in a handbasket thanks to an unforeseen combination of coaching, close game luck, and unexpected skill.
2). The Sixers are going to be all right. The withdrawal of the guaranteed top four pick does not guarantee the absence of a top four pick. Things are not going as planned, but change is not exclusive to them. Andrew Wiggins is not the guaranteed number one pick he was three months ago, Jabari Parker is not the questionable fit he was three months ago, Joel Embiid may or may not be the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon, Julius Randle has somehow slipped beneath some people's radars, and the dumbest fucking idea in the world looms over everything. Everyone's future is unwritten, and Sam Hinkie knows more than you.
3). There is no #TeamChill. There is no #TeamPanic. There are not two sides to this coin. Every argument surrounding this debate you believe to be a lie is true, and the Sixers are tearing away into championship contention.
The Minnesota Timberwolves come to town tonight in a microcosm of tonight's BCS National Championship game. The Timberwolves are Florida State, and they will win tonight because the statistics demand it. Meanwhile the Sixers are Auburn, and they will win tonight because the narrative demands it.
Comment on the game in the thread below, and stick with Liberty Ballers tonight for post-game reaction and recap.