Before we get into the real nuts and bolts of tonight's game, as of about 4:45 PM, basketball season officially began in Philadelphia. I'd like to welcome all of the Eagles fans who hadn't paid much attention up to this point.
And boy, did you pick a fun night to hop on board, as the Sixers picked up their third win of the season, a 96-88 win over their preferred trading partner, the Orlando Magic, and former Sixers Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, and Mo Harkless.
There's so much to talk about this game. Nerlens Noel put together another solid game, racking up his 4th career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Henry Sims and Robert Covington also had double-doubles. KJ McDaniels struggled in the first half with foul trouble and poor play, only to recover nicely in the 2nd half and clearly played a much stronger game.
We're very prone to labeling things "The ______________ Game" here at Liberty Ballers. The Spencer Hawes game, which still haunts my nightmares.The Brandon Davies game, which I look back on with reverence. Or perhaps the non-union Summer League equivalent, The Sean Kilpatrick Game, which resulted in Jake Pavorsky and myself repeating "He was All-American last season!" like it was a meaningful barometer of the bright future Kilpatrick could have.
This game, however, in the annals of time, will be cherished forever as the KJ's Mom Game.
For those who didn't watch the game, the CSN broadcast consistently found KJ's mom, because she is an unabashed KJ McDaniels superfan. She's the best. She's what I imagine my mother would be if I were an NBA player. She's close enough as it is, and I'm only a marginally talented writer.
For more, we turn to the Twitter timeline of ESPNU's Jordan Eichenblatt, who had a great vantage point for both the game, and the fan of the game. A few of my favorites:
Situation all cleared up. She is now booing the guy shooting a half court shot for a $50 gift card.— jordan eichenblatt (@JEichenblatt) December 22, 2014
Michael Carter Williams with a huge fast break dunk and she is BOOING AND YELLING PASS THE BALL— jordan eichenblatt (@JEichenblatt) December 22, 2014
Like I said, the best.
Plus, the Sixers won! That's their third win of the season, and now the most disgraceful, disgusting, embarrassing basketball team in the history of the world is tied in the standings with the New York Knicks. They are now undefeated in the Ronny Turiaf Era, and it marks their third win in a game that Alexey Shved doesn't play in.
Football season may be over in Philadelphia, but fear not, Eagles fans. The Sixers are here to lift your spirits, because you can't possibly have any expectations for them to succeed, and sometimes, on nights like tonight, they'll find a way to win.
Next up for the Sixers is a trip to Miami on Tuesday night, where they'll try to better their other first round pick with a win over the scuffling and beaten-up Heat.