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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz Preview: Crisis On Infinite Earths

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After a lackluster preseason, Jahlil Okafor had a largely stellar NBA debut. But what if the Philadelphia 76ers' exhibition campaign was something from an alternate reality?

Jahlil Okafor is not of this planet. How do we know? Because no human has hands that big.
Jahlil Okafor is not of this planet. How do we know? Because no human has hands that big.
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Earth-Two is an alternate reality created by DC Comics that was ultimately used to help explain away many of the inconsistencies in their various titles.

Some three decades ago, the same people who gave you The Flash, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man realized that they had screwed up their continuity so poorly, they needed to essentially start over from scratch. Thus, DC's "Crisis On Infinite Earths" storyline merged Earth-Two - a planet more or less like Earth, but filled with DC's Golden Age characters - with four other worlds to create a single universe.

Merging planets and timelines and characters and the like is a plot device used in more than a few sci-fi movies and television shows. But what if there really is an alternate reality out there? Moreover, what if WE are the alternate reality?

What if we're all living on Earth-Two?

Think about it: It's the most reasonable explanation for many of the occurrences over the past several weeks. The Temple University football team is 7-0. Donald Trump has a less-than-zero chance of becoming the next President. And even the most ardent critics of #TheProcess have stopped barking long enough to gush over the first game in the career of one Jahlil Okafor.

We knew early in his tenure at Duke that Big Jah had NBA-caliber post moves. But few among us imagined that the 19-year-old Okafor would use said moves to put up 26 and 7 in his pro debut.

Were Okafor's mediocre preseason performances actually broadcast to us from Earth-Prime? Hell... some of the Philadelphia 76ers' games weren't even on television - who's to say they actually happened at all?

I know, I know... there's plenty of evidence to debunk the parallel universe theory. After all, if this truly is a different reality, then why is JaKarr Sampson still astounding one moment, and confounding the next? Why does the Sixers' hatred for Wells Fargo continue to burn as hot as a thousand suns? And why is the finale of "How I Met Your Mother" still as [trash emoji] as we all remember?

Only Neil deGrasse Tyson can answer those questions. But until (and before) that happens, let's all enjoy tonight's home debut of Earth-Two Okafor. Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert figure to offer a bit more resistance than Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and David Lee, so we should get a more accurate assessment of the No. 3 pick in this past June's draft.

If we're lucky, this evening will also mark the 76ers' debut of Nik Stauskas. It's been said an infinite number of times on infinite Earths, but if the former Michigan guard can develop into a consistent long-range threat from the 2 spot, life will be that much easier for Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

More importantly, tonight's game against the Jazz will give Brett Brown 48 more minutes to evaluate the two healthy point guards on his roster: Isaiah Canaan and T.J. McConnell. The Sixers tallied 12 assists and 24 turnovers in their season opener - two numbers that only underscore the need for a true playmaker to emerge.

With McConnell's natural point guard instincts and Canaan's ability to knock down 3s, it would be great if you could merge the two players together. Sadly, that's impossible. That kind of thing only happens in comic books.