by Danger Guerrero, of Warming Glow, Film Drunk and Keith Law's Scouting Report fame
Prior to this season, I got kind of drunk one night and started sending DMs on Twitter to some basketball writers I know, proclaiming that the Sixers were going to win their division this year. I had a litany of reasons (continued progression from last year, the shortened and condensed season favoring young teams, bourbon, etc.), but most of all I just had a good feeling. They gave the Heat a decent run in the playoffs last year, and I really felt they were ready to take the next step. Maybe not the "win a title" next step, but at least the "be really competitive and fun to watch" next step.
So far, I am happy to report that most of my drunken theories have been confirmed (the jury is still out on whether Dr. J could still put up 5-6 points a night off the bench at age 61). But I realize some of you may have been a little slow to come around on the team. It's been a while since they were good, so it's understandable if you checked out for a year or two. To help you get caught up, I have put together this collection of reasons that YOU, ZWR reader, should love the Sixers this year. Enjoy.
Everybody Scores - As I write this, the Sixers have eight (8) players who average between 9 and 16 points per game. This is, to understate things wildly, a little cool. Since just about forever or the 80s, the NBA has been a league that thrived on stars. Outside of the Pistons in [look up year][I forgot to look up the year](NOTE: Sheeeeeeeeeeed), the most successful teams have been the ones who could strap their fortunes on the back of a star. On Monday night when the Sixers beat the Lakers, while starting a rookie second round pick at power forward, no one took more than 12 shots. It’s like communism except everyone’s making over $400k and the people in charge don’t have crazy beards.
Jrue Holiday - Jrue Holiday has quietly become one of the better point guards in the Eastern Conference. He doesn’t put up huge stats, but he’s fundamental as hell, doesn’t turn the ball over, and rocks double knee pads like a 50-year-old dude at the YMCA.
Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand – I should be so mad at these guys. Both are being paid like All-Stars and are putting up some of the worst stats of their career. But what they're doing extends beyond stats -- providing leadership and solid defense on a nightly basis. Now, you may point out that those contributions are a bit pricey at a combined $30,591,476, but if you really think abou-HEY WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE?! [scurries away]
This Kid - <3 <3 <3
Adam Aron – The face of the new ownership group, Adam Aron, is such an excitable dork, and he’s doing everything right so far. Giveaways, interaction, interviews, all of it. I can’t wait until he goes mad with power, turns into Willy Wonka, and fills the stadium with weird basketball inventions. It’s coming. Trust me.
Big Macs at 100 Points – Run up the score NOM
The Dream Team – The Sixers Dancers should have a reality show and Cranekicker, ZWR, and I should produce it. I'M A TV BLOGGER NOW! I'M SUPER QUALIFIED! LOOK AT MY FIRST SCRIPT! [produces Wendy's napkin that has the words "Episode 1 - Everyone goes to Hawaii" smeared on it in ketchup]
Malik Rose – Malik Rose went from “that one guy I don’t know I think he was a Spur” to my favorite color commentator in under a month. He’s already dropped a bunch of “THREEE-colas” and threw in a”J-j-j-jammin on the one” or two, plus he always call out the refs, which is the quickest way to my heart. But most importantly, he coined the term “The Night Shift” for the bench which is THE BEST. Hey, speaking of those guys...
The Night Shift - The Sixers bench is awesome. First and foremost, please to enjoy this "Night Court"-esque credit sequence for the group:
Now let's run down the cast:
- Lou Williams – I said the other day that my favorite basketball player is pretty much anyone who keeps hucking up 30-footers even though they’re shooting like 2-14 in the game. That’s Lou. Combine that with his rapping, his creepshow bobblehead, and that promo spot where he talks about heart health with his arm around his mom, and he is easily my favorite player on the team.
- Thad Young – Thad Young is kind of like the basketball version of Shannon Sharpe, except taller and dunkier and less-talky. So basically just the teeth. I like when he scores points.
- Nikola Vucevic - UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
- Evan Turner – I’m not exactly sure why, but I like Evan Turner more and more each time he screws up. It might be because his voice sounds like a robot Muppet. I’m pretty sure that’s it.
- Lavoy Allen – Lavoy Allen is a 7-foot tall man who has the face of an 11-year-old boy. Based on this factor alone, his stock is going through the roof.
Hit 'Em High - I've been listening to this song from the Space Jam soundtrack a lot to get myself pumped up for the games. I think it's helping. Take us home, fellas.