The bloom is off the rose, my friends. I take full responsibility for returning the Sixers to full-on tank mode after a glorious start. Michael Carter-Williams went from Eastern Conference Player of the Week to 4-of-17 shooting with four assists and six turnovers, a masterpiece of offensive inefficiency.
Last night, Andre Iguodala took Evan Turner to dinner. Tonight, Dre took ET to the cleaners--32 points in 33 minutes, including seven three-pointers. Relieved momentarily of his burden as primary scorer, Stephen Curry recorded a triple-double: 18 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds in only 29 minutes. It was ugly, guys: Mark Jackson, his team up more than 30 at the end of the third quarter, removed Iguodala and Curry and replaced them with an army of anonymous Slavs, and the only reason this was a 20-point game instead of a 50-point game is that the Sixers' scrubs beat up on the Warriors' scrubs after the game was out of reach. It ended 110-90, but it could easily have been 135-80.
But we're not in the results business--and thank God, because these results were ugly. The Sixers shot 35 percent from the floor against a team that's not exactly known as a defensive juggernaut. But they attacked the rim and pushed the tempo and got 11 different players into the game for at least 12 minutes apiece. They shot 37 free throws, which would be more encouraging if they'd made more than 23 of them.
Andrew Bogut did not adjust well to the all-Xenon atmosphere: four points, seven rebounds and four fouls in 23 minutes of play.
This is the order of things--losses by dozens, in which the Sixers look skinny and unskilled for large stretches. Whether the 3-0 start and the brief flirtation with The Belt makes it easier or harder to swallow the pain of what will surely be at least half a hundred more losses before season's end depends on how you, personally, feel about having loved and lost.
In the meantime, welcome to the land of moral victories. We'll miss you, Belt. Pity you couldn't have stuck around longer.