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Sickening

This one is on you, Iguodala. (Photo by Larry W. Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
I've had some time to let this one percolate in my mind and now I think I can write about it.

First of all, give credit where credit is due. The Thunder played an excellent, excellent defensive game tonight. Missing their star and arguably their second-best player they used a simple defensive scheme to embarrass a "playoff" team that desperately needed a win. After the jump I have a few words for the Sixers, one in particular.

No one, and I mean absolutely no one, has been a bigger proponent of, supporter of, defender of and maybe apologist for Andre Iguodala than I have. Even through his horrible shooting start, I've been vocally behind him every step of the way. Tonight, I'm laying this loss squarely on his shoulders. It's simple, you got the big money (which you've earned), you are the face of this franchise. You wanted the responsibility and you've handled it well to this point. But tonight, when your team was facing a clearly inferior team, when you're in the middle of a playoff race, when you are obviously the best player on the floor, you let your team down.

I'm not even talking about the box score, which was pitiful. I'm talking about the fact that you stood by and let the game rest in the hands of everyone else. You passed up shots, you made dumb decisions with the ball, when things went bad, you didn't demand the ball. You didn't stop the landslide. You were a bystander as your team got buried by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Is Thabo Sefolosha too much for you to handle? If that's the case, this team is in serious trouble.

You can point fingers at plenty of guys after a loss like this. Some people will go right for the coach, and I'm sure he deserves a good deal of the blame, but here's the thing. This team's success rides on Andre Iguodala's shoulders, more than anyone else. When they win, he gets the credit, and deservedly so. When they lose like this, he has to take the blame as well.

I really hope that locker room wasn't somber after the loss. I hope there weren't hanging heads, and people feeling sorry for themselves. This wasn't that type of loss. This was the type of loss where you flip the buffet over and make the beat writers blush at the language. This was the type of loss that should make you sick when you look in the mirror. Every one of those players should be ashamed of himself right now. No one should get a good night's sleep. And if your jersey has a number nine on the back, you should be chomping at the bit to get back out on that court and just explode on someone, because that's what leaders do.

I didn't watch the post game, and I really don't have any interest in reading quotes from this team right now. I couldn't care less about the words. Nothing is going to make this right in my mind until they take the floor on Wednesday against the Raptors and look like a completely different team than they have the past two nights.

This is, by far, the worst game I have seen this team play since Allen Iverson was traded to Denver, and I've watched plenty of horrible games in that time.

Player of The Game: No one.
Team Record: 30-31
Up Next: Toronto, on Wednesday

by Brian on Mar 9 2009
Tags: Basketball | Post Game | Sixers | Thunder |