It's NFL Sunday, which means there is a non-zero chance you are midway through your fourth slice of pizza of the day wondering if Phil Simms really just said what you think he said while swearing you are not that drunk. If so, you are like most normal sports fans, but football is not the only thing on tonight. In fact, with no Eagles on today what better time after most of the NFL action has died down but to take in a Sixers game tonight.
The Sixers are 0-6 to start the season. And while some people could have predicted that situation to start the season, not many may have figured that the Sixers would keep all six games relatively competitive considering they would be without last year's standout Michael Carter-Williams. Instead, it's been Tony Wroten, Nerlens Noel (when healthy), K.J. McDaniels, and, gulp, Brandon Davies putting on a show and keeping the Sixers in games.
This team has not won a game and yet as a team they have done nothing but impress. Sure when a team is 0-6 and set up like the Sixers, there will be some regrettable moments (hi Chris Johnson), but on the whole the Sixers have played well against some not-awful teams. And furthermore, they've been fun to watch in the process. A tanking team playing Doug Collins-style basketball would be as unwatchable as the 2014 Phillies, but these Sixers, in spite of the losses, are actually watchable and fun. Well watchable for a team that will lose over 60 games, anyway.
All of which is a good thing because the losses are likely going to pile up. The Sixers' streak of competitiveness in defeat is going to be tested with this upcoming roadtrip. It begins in earnest tonight at 5-1 Toronto before a flight south takes Sixers on the grand tour of the NBA's Texas teams. This four game road trip will see the Sixers face teams with a combined record of 17-5. The Sixers may be having fun, but a team as lacking in depth and talent as they are can only be competitive for so long when traveling on the road against some of the NBA's elite. The 40-plus point losses have not arisen yet, but would it surprise anyone if this road trip contained at least one blowout loss?
Nerlens Noel will sit for the second consecutive game with an ankle injury. Taking his place as starting center will be Henry Sims. Malcolm Thomas has also been ruled out as he is still deciding whether or not to have surgery done on his injured knee. MCW, of course, remains out as he continues to recover from his offseason shoulder surgery.
As for the opposition, the Toronto Raptors are at the top of the Atlantic Division and having a laugh. The (soon named) Fighting Bruno Caboclos are already a game and a half up on second place Brooklyn and despite some questions regarding the status of Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson heading into Friday's game against Washington, they both played and the Raptors head into this game with a clean bill of health.
Thus far to start the season the Raptors have been more efficient on offense than on defense. While the Raptors defense is not bad per se, the Heat took advantage of many Toronto mistakes in the defensive end in Toronto's only loss of the season and if this sentence is not proof that I'm grasping at straws to find ways for the Sixers to win a game then I don't know what is.
But with the latest Macaulay Culkin death hoax shaking the Raptors to their very core, perhaps there is an opening for the Sixers to sneak past an upset.
Raptors maybe ready. Sixers need be ready. Tip off at 7:00 tonight as the Sixers continue to chase their first win of the season.