The prevailing thought running through my mind as I saw the Sixers B lineup fall behind by double digits to the Nets in the second quarter was, "There's no way Jordan is going to survive a blowout loss to the Nets." It actually cheered me up, momentarily.
This was, without a doubt, the worst basketball game I've ever attended. The Nets are a woefully bad team, the Sixers played like one. Eddie Jordan spent the bulk of the first half sending a message to his starters and then trimmed his rotation to seven after the break to squeak out a win over a team that is chasing the record for most losses in a single season.
Don't let the 83-79 final score fool you, this wasn't a defensive game. In fact, it was decidedly offensive. Meaning it should've offended anyone watching. Two NBA teams, both over the salary cap, should never put on that type of display.
The Nets were missing arguably their best player and they've done pretty much everything in their power to ensure a 25% shot at John Wall. I'm not sure what the Sixers' excuse is. Apparently, the first half was entirely Jrue's fault, because Eddie's big adjustment in the second half was to remove Jrue from the starting lineup in the third. I believe this is the second time he's done that this season, so good for you, Jrue. I hope you enjoyed your 8 minutes of glory.
I haven't had the stomach to go back and re-watch the game on DVR yet, but I will tomorrow night and I'll post the rotation chart at that time. I only have a couple of casual observations concerning the on-court activities:
- There wasn't a whole lot of communication going on out on the floor. After Brand hit a jumper in the first quarter, I heard AI say, "Yeah, EB." Iverson followed that up by yelling, "Shit, man!" at the ref when he was hammered on a drive to the hole and there was no whistle. I saw this on DVR and you can hear it, you can also hear me yelling at the ref right after him. In the second half Sammy got called for a phantom foul jockeying for position with Lopez and he said, "What did I do?" Otherwise, Jordan did a lot of unintelligible yelling, mostly trying to get the attention of guys who didn't seem to care what he had to say.
- Andre Iguodala had his third straight sub-par game, and tonight I really noticed that he's just not part of the half-court offense anymore. More and more, Jordan is calling isolation sets for Iverson or Lou. Brand is getting infrequent touches in the post, and they're running a little bit of weave and heave, but for the most part, Iguodala is camped in the corner on the weak side waiting for the ball to be swung, but it never is. He gets the ball when a play is called for him, and it was usually a back-down or dribble drive that he used to draw two men and kick to an open shooter, who missed the shot. He doesn't seem like himself, I'm not taking the blame off his shoulders, I'm just pointing out that Jordan either realizes this and he's intentionally cutting him out of the offense, or he's exacerbating the situation with his play calls.
- Willie Green hit the side of the backboard twice on open shots. Can't say that I've seen that done at the NBA level before.
- I stopped counting missed layups by the Sixers when I reached 10, sometime in the first half.
Now that we have the game notes out of the way, I'd like to talk about the Izod Center for a second. If you haven't been to a Nets game, I have to say I recommend it. First of all, I got unbelievable seats for about a quarter of face value. You can actually see me in the picture at the top of this post if you squint. Second, the entire game is like a bizarre freak show that builds its momentum until the break between the third and fourth quarter when the floor is stormed by a troop of the freakiest characters you've ever seen.
It's like a Hieronymous Bosch painting, and that is not an overstatement. Here's the cast of character:
- A fox carrying a gun (t-shirt cannon).
- An overweight dwarf in a fox suit running around antagonizing referees (wearing number 1/2). And I'm not being insensitive, I'm pretty sure he was a dwarf as opposed to a midget.
- A group of diminutive male tumblers with either dreadlocks or Nets-colored mohawks.
- A group of heavily muscled female tumblers with five o'clock shadows.
- An emcee who is apparently named "Glorious" and doubles as the PA announcer (He announced the lineups standing on the court, something I've never seen before).
- The Nets dancers, dressed head-to-toe in black lycra to hide...well, there's no nice way to put this. One of the dancers had to be 6-months pregnant.
- And finally, the most Rubenesque Nets dancer was on stilts for the entire affair.
This group invades the court as soon as the buzzer closes the third quarter and spends the next three minutes dancing, tumbling, falling as the case may be and cajoling the fans to show some interest in the terrible product the Nets are putting on the floor. Oh, they also throw t-shirts wrapped up like burritos. It's quite the scene.
Player of The Game: Null? I mean, does anyone really deserve it? OK, I'll give it to Sammy for keeping his string of 10+ rebound games alive, despite only playing 28 minutes.
Team Record: 16-31
Up Next: The Bulls on Wednesday at the Wach.
By the way, if ownership was on the fence about firing either or both of the Eds, this "win" should've pushed them over the edge.