This is kind of a Liberty Ballers/jsams State of the Union address, so if you don't want to read it (which shouldn't be the case), scroll down a ways for just the preview.
With three games remaining before we've officially reached the halfway point in the NBA season, the Sixers have to go three-for-three to sit above .500 to start the second half. Halfway point? Can you believe it? Although, the first part of the season was nightmare-ish to say the least, I always get a little misty as the halfway point approaches. And I quote myself...
One more thought before I continue my Robin Williams-movie-marathon. We have an 82 game season ahead, and hopefully more. For some reason, I've had an epiphany tonight. I've been a die-hard sports fan my whole life, but sometimes I take my teams for granted. Some nights, I'll say to myself, "It's an 82 game season, I'll still watch the game, but I'll play online poker at the same time." No, Jordan, no more. I miss the Sixers too much right now. I want the season to last forever. We're competitive again. I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it. So this year, I'm going to fight tooth and nail to watch every minute of every game. And not once am I going to say, "Man, why do I put myself through this misery," or "Why can't I be a Lakers fan?" No matter what happens, I'll be there with the Sixers every step of he way, because watching the Rays fans tonight made me realize how sweet it is to finally succeed after years of disappointment.
Have I lived up to my word? Just about. But I do admit, there were a few "Man, why do I put myself through this misery," and "Why can't I be a Lakers fan?" thoughts that ran through my head during the 9-14 start with prized off-season possession, Elton Brand looking more like a 90 year-old man, drenched in icy hot, painfully moving up and down the court instead of the 24-10 guy I had hopes for. He was basically Greg Oden. Zing! Sorry, I'm still on a little Blazers kick.
That brings me to now. Unfortunately, another dent in my schedule isn't going to allow me to see the next three games live. I'm scheduled to hop on a plane tomorrow evening and fly to the home of the dental floss bikini, San Diego (Okay, I stole that from Fresh Prince, and it wasn't San Diego; it was Palm Springs, but you get the point.) Honestly, I'm stoked to go to San Diego, but how is it that when I'm scheduled to go on vacation the Sixers play 3 games in 4 nights? And then they don't play again until the following Saturday? Why scheduling Gods, why?!
Here's my plan. I'm going to catch the first half of the Spurs game tomorrow. I'll be here for the open thread. I'll be here to witness Iguodala score 30 in the first half en route to a 31 point halftime lead, but I'll miss the rest of the game, the game in New Yawk vs. the Knicks (On NBATV) and the Monday morning game against the Mavs. That won't stop me from watching 'em though. I plan on taping all 2 1/2 games and watching them consecutively upon my triumphant return to Vegas. It will take me about 2 1/2 hours (The time of a normal game) to watch the 2 1/2 that I missed. Hopefully I return to a 21-20 Sixers team? Then as soon as I'm done watching the games that I missed I'll do a combined recap/1st half wrap-up. It'll be a monsterously informative analytical piece. I promise. And yes, "monsterously" is a made up word.
Game threads will still be up. Don't be afraid to carry the team without me. I'm putting at least 100 comment expectations on all three games. Are you guys up for it? Once I get back, it'll be on, and I think we'll really start to turn the corner.
(Like the last time I went out of town, if anyone wants to man up and write a recap or preview in the FanPosts I'll be happy to publish it on the main page while I'm gone as long as it's somewhat decent.)
Remember this? I do. It was devastating. I was shockingly at a loss for words after the Tony Longoria dagger.
I'm in no condition to write a coherent recap, so I'll go with the good old, scrambled observations approach.
Tonight will be different. This time the Spurs are coming into OUR building. They're tired. They're emotionally drained from taking Kobe's balls and Roger Mason-ing them into a frenzy. Although when the Sixers went in to San Antonio just a mere 2 weeks ago they were playing well, this time they're coming into the game at a completely different level.
The Spurs were 15-26 from downtown last game, including a 5-5 performance from the afore mentioned Roger Mason Jr. Much like the Blazers game, there's one key to the game in my eyes. Perimeter defense. If we can shut down the 3-point barrage, specifically RMJ, it's game over. A 6 game winning streak is ours. If not, we are going to lose, plain and simple.
Call it optimism, call it delusional or just straight up ridiculous, but I see the Sixers getting a sixth straight victory tonight/tomorrow depending on when you read this. Besides that, there's one really big subplot that could emerge from this game. Drumroll please...
Elton Brand might return this weekend, but don't get too excited. He won't be the Elton we all know and love for at least a couple weeks. It will be more like "Elt" for a while.
DiLeo said Brand could return this weekend. "When he does come back, it will be limited and in segments."
John has a beastly FanPost on how DiLeo should go about integrating Brand back into the offense. I'm all for his/John Hollinger's suggestion.
So, sixth straight win, here we come? I think so dudes.
As always, check out the Spurs blog, Pounding the Rock and another Spurs blog, 48 Minutes of Hell for the simple fact that I conducted and interview with them earlier this week and you should check it out.