THE SIXERS DID IT.
They needed to lose tonight. And they did it.
For most of the game, it didn’t seem like it was going to go that way. The Sixers were out-hustling the lifeless Knicks. To make matters worse, the Magic were blowing a big lead they had over the Pistons. It looked like this was going to be a crappy end to a once-fun season that turned really crappy.
Even in the final moments of the game, it looked like the Sixers might blow this critial loss. After former Sixer Justin Holiday hit a three to give New York the lead with 39 seconds remaining, Nik Stauskas came down and hit one of his own to give Philadelphia the lead. But then Maurice Ndour (?!?) hit an ill-advised fadeaway mid-range jumper to take the lead again. The final shot taken by Stauskas was off target and the Sixers clinched an important loss!
Making matters even better was the fact that the Magic found a way to beat the Pistons after all. This means the Sixers are now locked into the fourth best odds heading into the 2017 NBA Lottery. Awesome.
- The season is over! The Sixers finished with a 28-54 record, which is 18 more wins than last year.
- The Sixers almost won tonight thanks to a career performance from Justin Anderson. He went 9-10 for 26 points. Look, I typically have a hard time blaming players for playing hard. This is their career. But it was very annoying to see Anderson playing extremely hard in a game where no one else really cared that much. He was totally being “that guy.” Thankfully his big night didn’t end up costing the Sixers the loss. If it did, I was totally prepared to point out how the Sixers traded Nerlens Noel for a fake draft pick along with the ability to drop from the fourth best lotto odds to the fifth.
- Richaun Holmes had 15 points and seven rounds on 7-11 shooting. I really enjoy watching Richaun play. Great to see the progress he made this season. He’s good.
- I always really liked Alex Poythress at Kentucky. I think I might be (perhaps irrationally. perhaps.) higher on him than anyone. But it was also annoying how he randomly went off for a big game when the Sixers needed to lose. He finished with 18 points on 9-14 shooting and six rebounds.
- Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot got off to a nice start offensively but then got in foul trouble so that limited his playing time.
- In a tanking move, Brett Brown only played T.J. McConnell 19 minutes.
- Tiago Splitter hit a three at one point. Wtf? Then Kyle O’Quinn did shortly after. This is peak Game 82 stuff.
- I can’t stress enough how clutch former Sixer Justin Holiday was tonight. He was really helping out his former team. Holiday finished with 20 points on a very efficient 6-10 shooting performance. Beautiful. The Process started with Jrue Holiday getting traded and it got a big boost from his brother tonight.
OKAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE GAME. NOW FOR SOME BIGGER PICTURE STUFF.
- In case you missed it, I wrote a lengthy piece about why there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Sixers next year. Click here to read it.
- I really can’t watch Joel Embiid to play again. I refuse to think about the injury stuff. Reasonable or not, I’m fully preparing myself as if Embiid and Ben Simmons will be playing the next time the Sixers play a basketball game. All you haters can say I’m jinxing it or whatever but you’re wrong. It’s going to happen. You’ll see.
- I know I don’t write for LB a ton but I was sad to leave in September. And I’m very glad to be back. While I love writing about the Eagles over at Bleeding Green Nation, that’s also a job to me. Writing about the Sixers isn’t my job. It’s just something I do for fun. So thanks for being here and thanks for reading. And thanks to LB for welcoming me back with open arms.
- I think that just about does it. So here’s to a fun offseason and here’s hoping the Sixers get some luck in the lottery. Let’s go get picks No. 1 and No. 4. Let’s make the playoffs next season on the backs of young players playing well.
- Trust The Process.
SOCIAL MEDIA STUFF
At the Phillies game tonight:
Also I'm sitting behind this guy pic.twitter.com/WWsRz2U56F— Sarah Baicker (@sbbaicker) April 13, 2017
BEN SIMMONS SOON:
And lastly, from the GOAT himself. He knew we needed this loss.