This is it folks. The tankiest of tankiest portion of the season is upon us. With only a few weeks before the end of the season, the Sixers will play multiple, fellow bottom-of-the-league opponents that will directly have an impact on lottery seeding. Tonight, it's the
Alexy Shved Show New York Knicks.
Unfortunately/Fortunately, most of you won't be watching, because March Madness will be infinite times better and more entertaining than whatever will transpire between the 76ers and Knicks (regardless of potential draft implications). Don't fret, however! I will bite the bullet, watch the game, and put up a recap tomorrow to describe what transpired.
To be honest, even writing a preview for this game is like quick sand as any ideas of being optimistic, witty, or even semi-excited about the game seems to sink at the thought of a better basketball game being a channel away. In lieu of a proper preview, let me just take a moment to vent about all those people who took their time to voice their displeasure about the tank-tastic Sixers.
As much as I've enjoyed this season and watching the players grow, I don't blame people for not knowing who is on the Sixers roster, especially those who don't regularly watch the team. Robert Covington was apparently a "patsy" brought into help the tank. Many people in Philadelphia still don't know who JaKarr Sampson is. Is Furkan Aldemir a character from Game of Thrones?
Seriously though, it just boggles my mind how much the Sixers were bashed over the course of the past 2 years. It's easy to explain why it happens and the problem really isn't that there was so much criticism, either. Two years of systematic tanking/rebuilding/whateveryouwanttocallit, isn't going to rest well with basketball purists or fans of that ilk.
However, the consistency of that type of thinking, MY real issue, was/is lacking... especially since 1) the Sixers have not been the worst team in the league, 2) the logic behind the Sixers actions have been ignored, many times, and 3) there have been worse offenders to whatever the hell the Sixers have been accused of.
I don't really hate teams. I may dislike players because of their play style, demeanor, or off the court behavior, but I don't outright hate other teams because of rivalries or whatnot. So I don't mean to pick on the Knicks or the Timberwolves (or their fans) out of any spite for their team. Furthermore, this isn't a "best of the worst" argument. All 3 teams are pretty terrible.
It's just amazing that the Knicks or Timberwolves haven't gotten the same amount of vitriol the Sixers have, especially this season (much like the Bucks last season).
The Knicks, the worst the in league, field a team that's led by Langston Galloway and Alexy Shved! I swear the Zen Master must also be a magician because of how he tricked the whole league into thinking that being a successful coach means he'll be a successful GM. And that's not to say he won't. However, for all the crap that Sam Hinkie gets about team building and his lack of GM experience, it's not like Phil Jackson is beyond the same criticism.
The Timberwolves/Flip Saunders, in all their try-hard-KG-Is-Back glory, literally phoned a guy to suit up for them because of proximity. I never question injuries because that's not a good road to go down. However, color me a little skeptical when half the roster can't play on a SEGABABA, especially when there's a long history of obvious tank maneuvers towards the end of the season.
Hell, even Jeanie "TANKING IS UNFORGIVEABLE" Buss and the Lakers have evaded the type of vitriol the Sixers receive. And they signed Carlos Boozer!
So yes, I'm a little salty. Salty because I've sat through 2 years of Sixers-bashing. Salty because it seems like the Sixers have been singled out whenever the tank discussion is brought up. Salty because I dumped a salt shaker over my head just so I had a third reason to be salty.
But yeah there will be some good basketball being played tonight. Also, the Sixers will be playing against the Knicks.