Thank God for the Nets. That's a phrase that you know has been uttered countless times by both Eddie Jordan and Ed Stefanski. The horrible season the Sixers have turned in to this point is nothing compared to the mess in New Jersey, but that could all change with a loss tonight.
When you have a reactive owner and a completely disinterested fan base, nuances don't really matter. Eddie Jordan's rotations are a topic for discussion here, but the casual fan probably doesn't even notice. The casual fan isn't even watching the games at this point. The casual fan probably doesn't read the biting, unapologetic, quality journalism Kate Fagan, Tom Moore and a few other beat writers are churning out these days. The casual fan probably scans headlines and sees the score as it passes along at the bottom of the screen. That's why tonight's game is a very big deal for Eddie Jordan, and Ed Stefanski as well.
When the Sixers lose to the Lakers, no one bats an eyelash. When they lose to T-Wolves, people don't really know how bad Minnesota is. But everyone, and I do mean every single person who ever cared about Sixers basketball in the least knows how bad the Nets are. It's been a national story all season long, they're a regional competitor, their record-setting horrendous start was plastered on every paper and the lead on every local news show for weeks. If the Sixers lose this game, people are going to notice. The WIP will probably be flooded with calls, the "these guys can't even beat the Nets!" outrage will be palpable. It may even be enough to get Ed Snider to finally say enough is enough and rid himself of both Eds.
In the grand scheme of things, it's one game. We all know that. But it could very well be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I'm hoping the camel here is one or both of Ed Stefanski and Eddie Jordan, not a trade that's going to move the franchise in the wrong direction.
This game is really a lose-lose situation for the Sixers, if you believe they're a team on the brink (which I do). If they win, all they've done is beat the lowly Nets, no one bats an eyelash. If they lose, well, we've been over that. This is why I fully expect Eddie Jordan to coach this game like it's game 7 of the finals. Which isn't necessarily a good thing.
Devin Harris is listed as doubtful for today's game, as far as I can tell, Keyon Dooling is their starting "point" guard. They've run this starting lineup out there for the past two games (a win vs. LAC and a loss at the buzzer to the Wizards):
- Courntey Lee
- Chris Douglas-Roberts
- Yi Jianlian
- Brook Lopez
I know I started out talking about how bad a loss to this team would be in the big picture, but think about the team New Jersey is trotting out there. Lopez is a stud in the middle, Courtney Lee has taken a huge step in the wrong direction this year (40% from the floor, 27% from three), and pretty much everyone else on their roster is a borderline NBA player with the exception of Terrence Williams, who's only a rookie, and possibly Yi who's at least doing one thing well this season. Losing to this team would be quite an accomplishment. Of course, the Sixers managed to lose to them 4 times last season, so I can't say I'd be shocked.
Key to the Game: Lopez and Yi, I suppose. I only include Yi because he's shooting an impressive 42% from three.
If _____________ the Sixers will win: The players don't realize that losing this game could mean they'd be done with Eddie Jordan.
This is your game thread, I'll be at the game so you guys are on your own. Play nice, look for me on TV (I'll be right under the Sixers hoop in the first half, wearing a red sixers t-shirt, or bare-chested with F Eddie Jordan painted on my chest, haven't decided yet). I'll check in late night with comments and my wrap. Follow me on Twitter, I'll put a couple pictures up there from the game if I get a chance.