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Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers: Confessions of a Recovering Sixers-Watcher

What this season has driven me to.

Everyone needs a hug.
Everyone needs a hug.

First off, Levin summed up the Andrew Bynum Experience pretty well. If you haven't checked out his post, go read it. That is by far the most important thing you will read on this site today.

Now I have a little confession to make: For the last two weeks or so, I haven't been watching the Sixers a ton. Sure, they've been on the TV most of the time, but I couldn't find the focus for two and a half hours like I usually do. With the obvious exception of DougGate, I couldn't read much coverage of the team. And apologies to everyone who was looking for the post breaking down that awesome down screen play they ran to get (the surprisingly decent) Damien Wilkins a 20-footer, but I know that I sure as hell didn't have the will to write about them.

If the Sixers aren't the saddest on-court product in the NBA, then they're pretty close. It's not just that they're bad. I actually hope they remain that way, at least for next year. It's that they're bad with players that by and large will have no impact on the team's future. So I have two suggestions:

1. Watch this game. It will be the last time the Sixers will play a regular season NBA basketball game for six months. While I certainly won't argue that this absence will mostly be a good thing (because the offseason provides a period to make an extremely necessary roster overhaul), six months is a long damn time.

2. Watch the playoffs. It doesn't have to be a ton, but watch some of the games and remind yourself of what good basketball looks like. Watch LeBron play at an insanely high level. Watch Houston run their spread pick and roll. Watch Marc Gasol play defense. Watch how Chris Paul controls an entire basketball game. Watch Golden State run elevator screens for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The Sixers are bad, but they play in a great league. Try and take some of it in, even if you're only changing the channel because you need to take a break from Sarge's hitting analysis for a minute.

You know what you probably shouldn't watch, though? Pacers-Hawks, if form holds and that ends up as the 3-6 matchup. From a fan base that knows full well what ugly playoff basketball looks like, this should be very ugly playoff basketball. No offense to tonight's opponent, a solid and likeable team that should at least make the second round for the second straight year, but I LIKE DA POINTZ.

Indiana has nothing to play for tonight. They're locked into the number three seed. The Sixers, on the other hand, are currently tied at 33-48 with Portland and Toronto for the league's 10th worst record. The Blazers are playing at home against a Golden State team playing for the 6th Seed (Count on a loss) and the Raptors are at home playing against a Boston team with nothing to play for (Come on Rudy!).

Oh yeah, this is Doug Collins' last game as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip is at 8:10ish. Let's see if they can fire up 40 shots from 16-23 feet for old time's sake.

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