Assuming the Sixers and Pelicans ate as much food as I did last night, this game should be pretty rough for all involved. My body is a physical and emotional wreck after the beating it took at the hands of my mouth at the dinner table and booze table. Alas, there is basketball to be played and blogs to be blogged.
We get to welcome former Sixer and Thanksgiving Fruity Pebbles advocate Jrue Holiday back into the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Sam Hinkie rubbed himself all over the Philadelphia media by trading the All-Star point guard for the rights to Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans 2014 first round draft pick. I anticipate there being some sort of tribute to Jrue before the game -- maybe Adam Aron swandives onto him from the rafters or Jrue gets his own fiery player intro for old time's sake or Royal Ivey comes back and rips off his face to reveal he's actually Kevin Ollie AND Doug Overton, just spitballing here.
Losing Jrue was tough -- almost as tough as this dry white meat I'm about to loosen up with some gravy -- but that sadness has been mitigated by the play of a certain hardcore wrestling faction, Michael Carter-Williams. Once we get a few more games under their belts -- speaking of belts, none of mine fit after last night's destruction -- we'll evaluate them further, but it's not ridiculous to say MCW is a better player than Jrue right now, and it's certainly reasonable to think he'll become the better player in the long run.
Anyhow, there's ulterior motives to this Sixers/Pelicans matchup and none of them have to do with Pierre, the Pellies horrifying mascot and second-biggest bird I've devoured in the last 18 hours. With the Sixers owning the Pelicans' first rounder (with top 5 protection), it is in their best interest to both win and lose this game. Since my sources tell me that is sadly impossible, we've got a tanking conundrum on our hands. The Sixers are 6-10, the Pelicans 6-8. I'll be hoping for a Sixers win tonight that has nothing to do with the CHILL BRO debate. Basically, I have more faith that New Orleans will be a good team than I do the Sixers sustaining this kind of play. I'd rather the Pellies add up some losses now so when they figure it out as a team, they're in a bit of a hole and the draft pick can be better. I'm confident the Sixers will fall into the trap door any minute now, so stealing one last win at home against the team whose pick they own seems ideal to me.
- No word yet on Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten, although via Twitter, we learn that Spence "hopes to play" and Tony is at a chiropractor. Been missing the Washington Connection of late.
- It is now a good time to lament the distinct lack of NERLENS vs. the city of NERLENS tonight. Also Nerlens Noel vs. Anthony Davis would be just about the coolest thing since these refrigerated green beans I'm about to house.
- A few weeks ago, Eric Gordon was eating in the restaurant below my apartment. Tanner and I did not approach him because you gotta let a dude eat in peace. Also we're babies.
- Ryan Anderson is going to destroy the Sixers.
- Last time they played (in New Orleans), the Pelicans won by a thousand. MCW did not play. Turner shot 2-11. Austin Rivers had 12 points. Yeah.
- Last game against the Warriors, Jason Smith took 5 more shots than Anthony Davis. If that's not grounds for death by firing squad, then I just don't know what country I'm living in anymore. Right, Hawes?
- I woke up this morning to both of my legs asleep. My body has turned heel.
- Looking forward to seeing Jrue cover MCW and Evan Turner at various points tonight. Odds of Jrue blocking one of Evan's stepback no-arc jumpers in the lane? 1-to-3.
- If the season ended today (it doesn't!), the Sixers would get the 9th and 12th picks. This doesn't matter, but DX has Willie Cauley-Stein and Montrezl Harrell slotted at those spots, which, with Nerlens, would form the most vicious frontcourt since the beginning of time. Gods and men alike would bow before the wingspan and athleticism. The league would institute a NO OOPING policy to counteract the 140 points per game the Sixers would score simply from alley-oops and blocks that were sent across the court and into the other basket. Children would weep. Women would die out. The age of men would come crashing down. But that is not this day. Because the draft is in June. And it's November. Come on, guys. No dumb questions.
- I put my UNDEFEATED game thread belt on the line tonight. Only Tanner, Dave, and I have not recapped a game in which the Sixers have lost. We have too much Eddie Jordan and Doug Collins in our bloodsteam. Always a winner, never a champion. Step up your game, NextGenLB.
And do check out The Bird Writes because lovely people all. Game tips at 8:00. I'll be in a food and bourbon-induced fog until then. If you need me, I'm either in the fridge or on the toilet.