It's a Christmas Tanking Miracle. Without the services of *deep breath* Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, and Jordan Farmar, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly by a score of 112-98. Michael Carter-Williams missed two foul shots at the end to a dismayed, hungry crowd that kept them from free Big Macs. This team is beautiful.
Can't imagine how much this hurts for the people on the Sixers who actually want to win (i.e. not us), but it is absolutely huge for the tanking efforts. This loss drops them to 15-36, 3.5 games up (down) on the Lakers in the Tanking Rankings. Even bigger, this was a massive night for the tank -- lots of bad teams winning on this lovely Friday evening.
Some props from the offensive end because exactly no one wanted to play defense (except Evan Turner in the waning moments in a hilarious last-ditch effort to get the Sixers to 100 points):
-- Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen outplayed the Lakers bigs for the most part. Hustled, hit some shots, moved the ball... then the 4th quarter happened and the wheels happily came off.
-- Evan Turner hit three 3's!
-- The James Anderson/Elliot Williams/Hollis Thompson triumvirate played well. They're all sort of NBA players to varying degrees on any given night. That seemed complimentary, maybe.
-- Tony Wroten did good things, including another 60-foot heave to end the third quarter. Two straight games with that.
-- MCW and Thaddeus Young... forgettable evenings for them.
Really, the Sixers lost the effort battle in this one against a team that didn't give a crap to begin with. Steve Nash's birthday, sure. Kendall Marshall revenge game, unlikely. But Ryan Kelly was *making plays* against this team. Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill seemed dominant. Wesley Johnson played like a DPOY.
This team is crawling-- crawling-- to the Trade Deadline in less than two weeks. Moves will need to be made just to shake things up for what has become, as predicted, the sloggiest of slogs this NBA season.
Oh and hey look at Nerlens dunking!
- Michael Carter-Williams in NBA Skills Challenge, Teamed with Anthony Davis in Rising Stars
- Nerlens Noel Dunking And Such Things
- Michael Carter-Williams Earns Second Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month Award
- Brett Brown Verbally Pimpslaps Arnett Moultrie
- Sam Hinkie, Sixers remaining patient until Trade Deadline