Brian is a lifelong Sixers and Eagles fan who fell off the wagon at an early age to root for the Yankees. He's been blogging at www.depressedfan.com since 2006 and exclusively covering the Sixers there since 2008.
It doesn't have to end tomorrow night. Not only the season, but this era of Sixers basketball. It's time to take the Atlantic Division torch from the Celtics.
Despite losing 16 of their past 25 games, the Sixers can take back the Atlantic Division lead with two wins this weekend.
With the weekend's All-Star festivities behind them, the Philadelphia 76ers are left with 32 games ahead to prove this season as the beginning of something new for NBA hoops in Philly, or more of the same we've seen for the past half decade or so.
Decisive wins over the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks have added weight to the Sixers 17-7 record, while a demoralizing loss to the Miami Heat sandwiched in the middle showed they still have work to do.
Doug Collins will probably look back on a 2-2 record last week with ambivalence. Anything less than 3-1 this week will be looked back upon with anger.
Andre Iguodala is why the Sixers are a defensive force. Jrue Holiday is why they've gone from very good last year to great over the first 13 games of this season.
The Sixers are using their depth and youth to pound their opponents into submission. Lesser teams can't go a full 48 minutes against the Sixers energy, this week we'll get a chance to see how a couple of the better teams handle it.
Andre Iguodala, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner have upped their games to lead the Sixers through their first two games of the season. They're going to need some help to get back to Philly above .500 on Jan. 6.
No one can tell you if the Sixers' new ownership group made the right long-term decision by staying the course on the court heading into this season, but in the short term, they've got a big advantage and a coach who knows how to play the angles.
David Stern's veto of the Chris Paul trade is a leftover battle from the CBA negotiations, a battle the players thought they had won. Unfortunately, the first guy to put the agreement to the test plays for a team owned by the league.