Wow, and I thought the Lakers win was great. This one was even better! Here's why:
- The Sixers came out with way more energy tonight than they did in LA.
- Instead of relying on Donny-Ice to come in a lead a miraculous comeback followed by an Iguodala buzzer-beater, the Sixers traded blows with Portland ALL NIGHT and still prevailed.
- Even though LA was good at home, Portland was equally good. After seeing both home crowds in a week's time, there's no question Portland's crowd is 1000 times better. They clearly affected the officiating in the third quarter, and energized the Blazers for their comeback. The Sixers got a little flustered, but managed to get up, dust themselves off and answer every run the Blazers made.
- It was the last game of the brutal road trip, the rear end of a back-to-back and 53 minutes were needed to decide the game. The Sixers definitely left everything on the floor tonight.
- Philly was 35-39 from the free throw line! Enough Said.
Here are a couple more random observations/thoughts:
- Note to Sixers equipment guys: Every player needs a bigger cup after tonight.
- The refs were whack tonight, but they were whack for both sides, so I don't want to hear complaining -- from Sixers fans OR Blazers fans.
- All announcers are homers -- let's face it. But the Blazers announcers were flat out obnoxious at times. "Royal Ivey is about to end up on a poster" says it all. How'd that work out for you? Also, every time Brandon Roy missed a shot, "Let's not forget to mention, Brandon injured his pinky 46 games ago. It looks to be affecting him."
- Sam sucked. Greg Oden completely owned him.
- Reggie Evans was HUGE.
- A new "big 3" is emerging in Philadelphia. Don't look now, but Thad's becoming a special player -- quickly.
- Royal Ivey and WILLIAM GREEN played huge defense on B-Roy down the stretch.
- Three Blazers really impressed me tonight -- Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez.
Possibly the most important thing I saw tonight was killer instinct and heart. I didn't think these Sixers had it in 'em. They finished 3-2 on the road trip which is more than most expected. Not to mention, two of those wins were in LA and in Portland -- shocking.
I learned my lesson after the Lakers win though. This was a HUGE win -- maybe the biggest of the season, but that's all it was. It means absolutely nothing come Wednesday night. Celebrate while you can gentlemen (and lady...I got you doubleh), because it doesn't get any better than this.