Feb 21, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner (12) brings the ball up as guard Jrue Holiday (11) follows during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Philadelphia 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
After such a depressing week of Philadelphia sports, the hopes and prayers of a city land squarely on the shoulders of the 10-9-8-76ers. But is that a good thing?
The rain has moved through Philadelphia over the past two weeks, bringing with it an end to the drought, which has dried out the once lush spring terrain. Now another drought has swept through the City of Brotherly Love. One that has proven much harsher than 90 degree March days. A drought which have many Philadelphia fans wondering...what happened?
The Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Phillies have taken turns holding me down, and kicking me in my privates. The Flyers did it by blowing a second round matchup against the New Jersey Devils, a team which they should have beaten. And although I know as much about hockey as I do tennis, (I know very little about tennis) I still slumped into the back of my couch when the final horn blew.
The Phillies are a different story. Injuries may have played their part, however that is not an excuse for the abysmal start to this season. It is not just one aspect of the team which is failing. Overall their fielding, hitting, and bullpen look horrendous. Even a Chase Utley or Ryan Howard could not make-up for these issues.
All eyes are now on the 76ers as Philadelphia's hopes and prayers lie in a victory tonight. A victory which would send them to a possible second round matchup with the Boston Celtics. My question being...Is this a good thing?
In the grand scheme of things, probably not. Besides giving the young nucleus, (Turner, Holiday) more time to acclimate themselves to a playoff atmosphere, it is hard to see the positives. I know this because during Game Four I uttered the phrase, "Maybe holding onto Iguodala for another year would not be such a bad thing."
That is the issue with continued success. Unless Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul begin punching fire extinguishers, this team will not win a championship. Let's face it, if Derrick Rose had not been injured, fans would be standing in line at the NovaCare Complex for Eagles mini-camp tickets right now.
The 76ers are stuck in mediocrity. There needs to be an overhaul of the lineup next year, because right now they are not good enough. Fans should have been rooting for the Sixers to miss the playoffs, so they could have moved up in one of the deepest drafts since 2003.
But along with many diehard 76ers fans, I couldn't do that. I won't be sad if they beat the Bulls, and certainly not if they renew their rivalry with the aging Celtics in Round Two. A victory in Round Two would propel them to the Eastern Conference Finals...and say a freak injury occurs in Miami, dare I say NBA Finals. Exciting stuff no doubt, until folks begin uttering phrases like, "Man that Spencer Hawes can really shoot the ball. I wouldn't mind seeing him in the middle for another year."
Let's hope the Sixers management knows better...
Regardless of which side of the Sixers fence you are on, the city of Philadelphia is in dire need of a winner. Although the Sixers are not the most talented team in the city, the hopes of an entire city rest on their shoulders. As the sunshine moves in, let's hope the victories follow.