A few weeks ago, we of the Brotherly Love were sitting pretty. Two playoff teams–one cruelly outmatch, the other chugging with momentum–and a baseball season was just starting. Sure, the Phillies sort of looked like a drunk company softball team out there. Whatever, it’s not even May! Besides, with the Flyers and Sixers both entering the post season for the second year in a row, there was plenty of hitting and name-calling to channel our feelings through.
So, for anybody who lapsed into a rage coma at some point over the last few weeks, congratulations! The future is here, and yes, it sort of tastes like bile. You have to… you sort of have to push that down. It burns, but… just do it. Or they’ll send you home for work.
The first thing you have to know is that one of our teams made it to the second round of the playoffs. Hooray! The second thing you have to remember is that Sixers are technically one of “our” teams. And the third thing is that the Sixers are the first team.
So where are the Flyers? Well, after they left the rink, Deviled from head to toe, the first stop was to Twitter. For one of them.
Not sure where Bryz thinks he’s going over the next eight years, but hey, thanks, bud. I think you spelled “smiley face” wrong, but that’s cool. At least you didn’t let the Devils score eight goals this time or something.
Of course you did let them score three, which is always too much when the offense is lifeless and bored and without their star player due to a suspension, but hey, we can’t really complain about that, especially since “losing the other team’s star player” is exactly the strategy the Sixers have been banking on.
Kind of sucks to have to preempt a compliment like that, but it’s so brazenly accurate you can’t really clap your hands without holding an asterisk above your head. The Bulls’ Derrick Rose went down in Game 1, Joakim Noah went down in Game 4, and Carlos Boozer couldn’t come through, which paved the road for two of the most pressurized Andre Iguodala free throws of all time.
You have to sympathize with Iggy. He comes in after A.I., has the same initials, and is pressed by Sixers marketing into being their star player on a team without a star player.
‘WHY ISN’T HE BETTER?!” people demanded. “THEY MAKE IT LIKE HE IS A SUPERSTAR BUT HE KEEPS NOT BEING ONE.”
Well, he’s not one. And he probably won’t be one. But this season, and in those last two shots to seal the victory, he certainly was. And after the game in the VIP section of Delilah’s with Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes, he was again. And nobody stopped to ask questions like, “Are the Sixers the worst playoff team ever?” or “What’s going to happen after this?”
So maybe you shouldn’t either. Mainly because the Flyers are gone and those Phillies I mentioned are having a hard time breaking their April tailspin, as it has quickly become a May fiery downward spiral.
The Boston Celtics finished off the Atlanta Hawks the other night, setting themselves up to be the next victims of the Sixers backwards slide through the NBA playoffs. In a semifinal ESPN is calling “cringe-inducing,” apparently, no one will score, and everyone will be old, tired, and broken. The margins of victory during the regular season–large ones–will be forgotten in tight, defensively run games.
Which, if you’re going to tune into basketball for the first time, is just the best kind of basketball. I don’t know what people are watching the sport for if not for defense. Maybe dunks and alley-oops and cheerleaders. And three-pointers and trick shots. But on a list of the top ten most entertaining aspects of the game, defense is certainly on it, if you have a seven-way tie for 10th place.
So prepare yourselves, Philadelphia. This is the post season we were promised, it’s just wearing the wrong uniform and playing the wrong sport. But it’s still inspiring and it still says “Philadelphia” on the scoreboard, so turn on those TVs and start hating Boston.
Oops, you got a little… you’re dribbling a bit of bile from you… no, don’t use your sleeve–ah, forget it.