Today's Sixers-Warriors game pits the best team in the NBA (by a large margin) versus the team currently holding the league's worst record. This game has all the makings of an absurd blowout where the Warriors stars put up gaudy numbers (and Vegas is certainly treating it like one), but there's a chance that the Sixers could come out and surprise some people.
Philadelphia has fallen to Golden State in their last four games by a combined margin of 108 points. You may recall the Nov. 4, 2013 game, where the Warriors waltzed into The Center against the 3-0 Sixers, and Andre Iguodala threw this absurd pass on his way to 32 points in a 110-90 victory. While these are the type of notable moments that usually come out of this David and Goliath match up, Philadelphia hung tight with the world champions just 11 months ago.
Despite 27 turnovers, the Sixers fell to the Warriors by just five points on Feb. 9 where Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 11-34 from the field, and Golden State shot just 24.1% from beyond the arc. Considering Philadelphia's recent competitive streak (outside of the Boston game which I've already erased from my memory), and their ability to hang tough with the NBA's best not even a year ago, there's a decent chance they could keep this game tight.
Or, they can lay down and die and get the absolute crap kicked out of them. For this team, there's no in between. Either they hang tough all game, or they get run over right out of the gate and never recover. Either is possible when the Warriors are in town, and they happen to be riding high after a baptism of the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week.
For the record, I think there's barely an iota of a chance the Sixers win this game, but any chance you can watch your young talent go some of the league's best allent allows for the Sixers staff to really evaluate where Philadelphia is in the rebuild.
If Golden State just manhandles the Sixers with very little fight from the home team, we'll know just how far away this team still is. But if Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor can hold down the fort and engage the Warriors in a defensive battle like the one we saw last February, well, maybe the light at the end of the tunnel will get a little bit clearer.
Make sure you check out this week's Rights To Ricky Sanchez if you haven't already. Spike and Mike talked about what would best help a healthy Joel Embiid and gave out some midseason awards.