Prior to this road trip, the consistent refrain from Sixers doubters was, "Wait until after the road trip." The message being, sure they've played pretty good basketball recently, but the road trip will tell you all you need to know about this squad. Well, the trip is almost over, so let's talk about where they are, as a group.
I realize the trip isn't officially over yet, so maybe we'll take stock again in the wrap of tonight's game, but I think it's pretty fair to take a look at this point. The Sixers left from the friendly confines of the WFC on an unfriendly note. They held a lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Lakers, then imploded, losing by 12 to drop to 10-16 on the year.
The following night, they took care of an under-manned Orlando team. Three days later they were ripped to pieces by the Bulls in Chicago. They bounced back from that loss with a strong effort in Boston, but lost in the final seconds on the second night of a back-to-back.
Then the trip headed west. Four days after the Boston loss, they landed in Denver to find the Nuggets without Melo. They took care of the Nuggets fairly easily on the strength of Brand and Jrue. This would be the last easy game of the trip. The following night, Iguodala's achilles tendinitis would flare up again. The Sixers got abused by the Warriors' perimeter play without Iguodala and lost their third game of the trip.
Two days later, the Sixers went into Phoenix and blew the Suns' doors off, 123-110. They did it without Iguodala and they did it in style. From there, they flew to LA and this time, they took the Lakers down to the final possession of the game, missing several opportunities to win it in the final seconds of the game, again without Iguodala.
That brings us to tonight's game. Andre Iguodala won't be playing, again. The Hornets aren't playing their worst ball of the season right now, but they've really been terrible overall since their 11-1 start. I'm sure Chris Paul remembers the embarrassing manner in which they lost on Philly and I'm sure he'll want to atone. This is a winnable game, in my opinion, but we'll get to that in the preview later on.
For now, I want to know if this trip has changed how any of you guys feel about this current team. They're 3-4 on the trip so far. Two wins against hobbled teams, one demonstrative win against the Suns, in Phoenix. Two losses in the closing seconds against the two teams that went to the finals last year, on the road. One humiliating loss in Chicago. And a double-digit loss in Golden State, on the second night of a back-to-back, without Iguodala.
What has the trip told you about this team, so far?