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Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks Preview: Halfway Gone

Rejoice, for we have reached a very important milestone in the 2013-14 NBA campaign. The Philadelphia 76ers are halfway to the lottery, but there's still plenty of season left.

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

We did it.

It feels like an eternity wrapped in forever with a side of infinity thrown in for good measure, but we've finally made it to the halfway point of the 2013-14 season.

It's been painful at times, but 28 losses, dozens of entertaining Evan Turner quotes and countless blown Brandon Davies' alley-oops have helped us all maintain some level of sanity.

The multiple 30-point losses that the Philadelphia 76ers have suffered this season shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. We all knew what we signed up for when it became apparent that Sam Hinkie and Co. wouldn't open the purse strings this summer.

We knew that they'd run (99.9 possession per game - 1st in the NBA) and that they'd get run out of the gym (109.9 points allowed per game - last in the NBA). We knew that Brett Brown would bring in truckloads of San Antonio wisdom and South Portland moxie, but we also knew that it wouldn't mean a damn thing when dealing with a roster that boasts more than a few players who belong in the NBA Development League.

But most importantly, we know that even if the Class of 2014 doesn't reach the heights of grandeur that many of us thought they would back before they even got their dorm assignments, every second of the past 12 weeks has been worth it.

There's still plenty of sand left in the hourglass, however. Still too many back-to-backs to suffer through, too many opportunities to give up 15 three-pointers in a single game.

"It'll all be over soon", said no one, ever. But at least the second half of the journey begins tonight against a familiar opponent.

When these two teams met 11 days ago, Amar'e Stoudemire stepped directly out of the hyperbaric chamber to drop 21 points on an unwitting Sixers' team in a 102-92 Knicks' victory. Fortunately for the 76ers, Stoudemire won't be in uniform tonight: he's out with with a sprained left ankle and a bone bruise. Kenyon Martin (ankle) and Metta World Peace (knee) will also miss the game with injuries. Spike Lee will be at MSG, and he may or may not be dressed like my godmother (gametime decision).

New York is so hard up for talent that they were forced to play J.R. Smith 34 minutes out of sheer necessity on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets. Mr. Smith's presence didn't help all that much as the Knicks got run off their own floor: The performance was so pathetic that Carmelo Anthony couldn't hide his disdain for the ineptitude of his teammates.

But while the Knickerbockers don't play any defense, the Sixers have found ways to play defense against one another. I'm not sure if one is more preferable than the other, but either way, tonight's game has the potential to be mildly amusing. And with 41 games left on the schedule, we should be thankful for any sort of entertainment we can get at this point.


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