Earlier tonight I was trying to remember the last time I was riding this much of a high the day after a Sixers game. It didn't take long for me to conjure up the memory, I'm sure it's one most, if not all of you guys share with me.
The magical run to the 2001 Finals, followed by an unbelievable win in L.A. against the Lakers, a game the Sixers probably never should have won. Unfortunately, that game was the end of the run. It all turned to dust after Iverson picked the city up and gave it hope with 48 points in the overtime win. Here, I hope, is where the similarities between this win and that win will end.
We could go over the differences between these Sixers and those Sixers, and those Lakers and these Pistons all night long. That's not the point. The point is, nothing has been won yet. All the Sixers have done is assure themselves of at least a fifth game. We need to keep that in perspective. They players especially need to take heed. This series wasn't won on Sunday night and it won't be won or lost on Wednesday night. It's debatable whether the Pistons mailed in the first game, I say no, many people say yes. It doesn't matter. The point is, the Sixers can't mail anything in. Not a game, not a quarter, not a minute. They threw down the gauntlet in game one. They showed everyone that they're here to battle, they're here to win, they're here to play 48 minutes of basketball and not a second less.
Nothing less than 48 minutes will do. It's going to take every single second of maximum effort to win this series, and even that may not be enough. Game 1 of the 2001 NBA finals has left me with 7 years of what ifs, there is no guarantee that the Sixers will be back here next year. There's no way to tell if this is the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the ascent. We'll worry about that when the season is over. For now, it's 48 minutes of basketball a night and we take our chances that this time, the miraculous start won't turn into a disastrous finish.
The live blog is 2-0 now, we're not messing with success. It goes live a half hour before tip, I hope to see you all there. Set a reminder for yourself after the jump, I'll have a couple of more analytic and less emotional posts coming up, but that finals game has been on my mind, so you get the unabashed fan in me for tonight at least.
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