Well, if you stayed up late and caught the Philadelphia 76ers’ 10 p.m. East Coast tipoff against the Utah Jazz, you have my condolences. Get a pot of sleepy time tea going and breeze through my recap following the 120-85 rout.
Here are my 1-2-3-4-5-Sixers takeaways from the rough loss:
1. I went to two Sixers home games last week. Both were losses. I still felt a sense of pride in grinding out games with a depleted roster as Tyrese Maxey began taking a leap. I wrote about how this Sixers team was still giving off good vibes. Going on a winless streak, however, eventually takes a toll.
Hot take: losing isn’t fun!
The Sixers aren’t actively doing anything that’s truly taking away from the team’s goal of winning a championship. It’s November. They’re increasingly underperforming, which is to be expected given the absence of Joel Embiid and the hole Ben Simmons leaves in this roster. They’re a victim of circumstance. Losing Embiid, Simmons doing... whatever Simmons does, Matisse Thybulle being out and a brutal schedule is a disastrous recipe.
Things don’t let up. They face Denver on Thursday. They play Portland at the Rose Garden (I’m not calling it whatever it’s supposed to be called) on Saturday. They get the treat of playing the 12-2 Warriors on national television on Thanksgiving Eve (Do we think Doc Rivers, Seth Curry, Stephen Curry and Damion Lee will all have Thanksgiving dinner together the next day?).
Our fearless leader Paul Hudrick sums it up well:
Just totally outmanned tonight. Honestly, it's just a shitty spot. Even if Seth Curry and Tobias Harris were having big nights, this team just doesn't have enough right now.— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) November 17, 2021
2. As the Sixers started to get a heavy amount of national TV games the last handful of years, fans have gotten used to league-wide broadcasters and analysts. Reggie Miller called this game. He hasn’t enjoyed a basketball game since the Clinton administration. The Inside the NBA crew received their screen time since this particular game was on TNT. Few people make me laugh like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, but they’re only hilarious when they’re talking about anything other than legitimate basketball analysis. Give me a night at Fogo de Chao with those dudes. I only want to hear stories about Phil Jackson splicing clips of American History X into game tape for a Sacramento Kings playoff series and Chuck throwing dudes through bar windows.
These guys hate everyone who plays in the NBA today! I watch the NFL every Sunday. Dan Marino doesn’t go on NFL Today and complain that Patrick Mahomes could never play in the late ‘80s. Why does the league allow this to go on? It further props up these antiquated takes and dilutes the quality of their product. The insecurity and fear of diminished legacies run rampant among former players who are national talking heads.
Does anyone who played in the NBA before the turn of the millennium like the sport of basketball? Greg Osterag? Dale Davis? What’s John Starks up to?
3. Is there a more thoroughly unlikable center rotation than Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside? This is a psychological experiment directed specifically at Sixers fans.
4. I hope you didn’t have Sixers +10.5 as the last leg of a three-team parlay tonight with the Penn Quakers and the Flyers. That would be a rough development (in theory, of course).
5. Tyrese Maxey scored 16 points in 29 minutes while shooting 50 percent from the field (14 attempts) and 50 percent from three (four attempts). The slimmest of silver linings?
6. Props to the Jazz on their well wishes for Sixers assistant head coach Dave Joerger, who has stepped away from the team as he undergoes cancer treatment: