I'm not going to write a recap. Look up a box score or buy the paper tomorrow morning. The Sixers lost...comprehensively, I think, is the best way to put it. They got outworked on both ends of the floor, out-shot, out-defended, out-glass-banged, out-blocked and dunked within an inch of their lives.
There's an episode of Firefly where Mal gets captured by a baddie. Said baddie tortures Mal literally until he dies, then revives him so he can torture him some more. That's what this game was like.
Ordinarily, after a loss such as this, I'd take solace in the famous opening line of the first edition of The American Crisis, Thomas Paine's third-most famous published work: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
But while Paine wrote in the service of a cause of great practical and political import, one that changed the course of world history, I can't help but wonder if a more appropriate epigraph for the Sixers' season might be found in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:14: "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
That's more like it.
One of the most enduring fallacies in sports journalism is that every loss brings with it some lesson, a moral nudge in the right direction. From tragedy springs hope, that sort of thing. Where's the lesson in this? What hope springs from this tragedy?
In 2006, I saw a movie called Just My Luck in the theater. It was a rom-com starring Lindsay Lohan and a pre-Star Trek Chris Pine. The conceit of the movie was that Lohan's character was the luckiest person in the world, Pine's the unluckiest (and both lived in New York City, in a case of typical narcissistic Manhattanite myopia). Their fortunes, however...actually, it's not worth explaining the plot of the movie.
The point is that this was, apart from Pootie Tang, the worst movie I've ever seen. I'm a firm believer in even the worst movies having some redeeming value, even if it's only for the purposes of intentional comedy. After all, I own Logan's Run on DVD. This was the exception. There were no laughs to be had, even at the expense of the film itself. No cockles were warmed, no heartstrings pulled. Just My Luck was shallow, stupid, poorly-acted, more-poorly directed and even more-poorly written. It was a tour de force of cheesy tone-deafness, a finger in the eye of anyone who plunked down seven dollars to see it. It was a traumatic experience that's now burned into my memory the the brand on a cow's hindquarters. It had no redeeming qualities.
That's how the Sixers played tonight. With enough torpor to send even the most optimistic Sixers fan into full-on Buzz Lightyear Tea Party Mode. I felt like I was being mocked while watching this game, like they were doing it on purpose to hurt my feelings.
So I'm not going to write a recap. Because screw this.