A couple bad calls, a collection of worse substitutions and finally one boneheaded play kept the dream alive tonight. By all rights, the Sixers should've won this game. They looked like the well-rested team playing for seeding, not the haggard group coming off a humiliating home loss the night before. Somehow, some way, though, they pulled out the loss and I found myself in the unique position of begging for a key blunder.
My favorite unit of the night, by far, came with 2:10 left in the game. The Sixers desperately needed a stop, so Jordan brought Jason Smith into the game and left Kapono on the floor.
From my point of view, this game came down to the officiating. Dwyane Wade got the superstar treatment throughout, Jrue got called for a horrible charge late in the game. If I actually wanted the Sixers to win, I would've been irate. I typically don't blame games on the refs, and there were plenty of opportunities for the Sixers to win this one anyway, but I'll make an exception this time simply because I'm not blaming them, I'm sort of thanking them.
I've been hoping for losses for a while now, but tonight was the first game where the switch in my head just never flipped. Typically, when they're in a tight game, and they're playing well, I want them to pull it out when it gets to crunch time. Logically, I know I shouldn't feel that way, but I always do. Tonight, there was none of that. This was probably the hardest I've ever rooted for a loss in my life and I have to say, I despise the feeling. Hopefully the next four games will be it. Hopefully I won't be put in this situation again. It sort of kills your soul as a sports fan.
The joke of the night is 4 shots for Jrue in 27 minutes and 16 shots for Speights, Willie and Meeks combined in 31 total minutes. Run some plays for the kid, he was 3/4 from the floor.
Player of The Game: Sam, whether you were rooting for a win (19 points, 16 boards, 4 blocks) or the loss (the basket interference to stop the tying hoop from going down), Sam is your man.
Team Record: 26-52 (yes, they've lost twice as many as they've won)
Up Next: vs. MIL on Friday night
Lottery Update: Huge wins for GSW and DET tonight. The Sixers are now only 1 game behind Detroit for the 6th-worst record and 2 games behind Sacto, GSW and Washington who are all tied for the 3rd-worst record. Hope is still alive.