This realllllly stings. And it’s going to for a while.
That was probably one of the most incredible shots I’ve literally ever seen, and it was by an Android, no less.
This year felt different, it always felt different.
When some of the homegrown guys were sent away in trades for the big guns, Elton Brand signaled that this was his team and he wanted to go all in. To win in this league you have to take calculated risks and make the tough calls to go forward, and I am all about it, no matter the cost.
There were mistakes made in the series and that shot will be inescapable for God knows how long, but you know what, you have to keep going.
People are going to look at Ben’s non-shooting, Embiid getting sick at the wrong time, the three shot clock violations, and Brett Brown going 0-31 while Suns head coach Monty Williams went 51-0 before leaving, but this season was peculiar and should not be looked at with short-sightedness.
The starting 5 played not even 25 games with each other.
There were 3 different iterations of this team this SEASON. I have never seen that before.
Markelle Fultz started games for the Sixers THIS SEASON. Think of how crazy that is to say out loud.
Brett Brown got them within one game of the Eastern Conference Finals, and you want to fire him because Tobias Harris misses some open threes or Kawhi Leonard hits the greatest shot I’ve literally ever seen in my entire life? Give me a break.
Is he perfect? No. But he took this thing from the ground up and saw three different regime changes, a 13 page manifesto, a GM who tweeted mean things about his players from 75 burner accounts, and a GM who played for him 24 months ago.
There are 4 All-Stars in the starting lineup alone, and you do what it takes to bring them back. You have the coach, and you have your two young studs. You do what it takes to keep it together.
Can you improve? Absolutely. And you already have reinforcements coming.
Zhaire Smith looked promising, Jonah Bolden looked promising, Shake Milton looked promising.
Joel Embiid is 25 years old and is the best center in Basketball.
Ben Simmons is a 6’10 point guard who moves like a gazelle and is entering year 3 while already being an All-Star and a starter on back to back 50 win teams and he still can’t even shoot yet.
The pieces are already there. Yes, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are free agents. Yes, it’s going to be expensive and maybe they choose to move on. But, this is why you do it, for chances to have a team like this for a long time.
The process was about putting yourself in a position to strike for moments like this season and to be good for a long time, not blow it up when it doesn’t go right for a little while.
That’s what the old regime would do.
It’s so damn hard to be the last one standing when it’s all set and done. There are so many great players in this league, arguably the greatest crop of talent the league has ever seen at any point in time.
You let the coach who took you through the mud to the most recent stretch of success the team has seen in nearly 20 years actually coach the team, for maybe even more than 5 minutes!
The owners may be short sighted and driven by the peer pressure from the media and short-sighted disgruntled fans to make a quick band-aid move because some softies get a little cranky on twitter after you lose to an actual avenger on a dagger shot we may never see again, but hopefully Elton Brand knows a little better and sees the job that was done this season.
Three teams, one year, and nearly made it to the conference finals.
This year was a roller coaster, there were lows, like last night, but there were some highs, oh were there some highs.
The home opener, Embiid going for 46 on the Clippers, Butler’s debut, the Game winner at Charlotte, the game winner at Brooklyn, seeing 2 of OUR guys play in the All-Star game, the night against Denver with the new team, the Minnesota trip, the Mike Scott short against Brooklyn.
Just because the recent pain of the Game 7 loss is fresh in our minds doesn’t take away the hell of a season the Sixers had given all of the circumstances that came up.
Is this all about winning? Of course, that’s what the process was always about, biding time to give yourself a better chance TO win. And they’ve done that, anybody who tells you differently is wrong, it is that simple.
Great teams don’t happen overnight and it takes time, the Sixers are nearly there and will continue to grow, that I am sure of.
They should have won the game but they didn’t, and there are no losses, just lessons.
This summer is going to be a big one, and July 1st around midnight all eyes are going to be on what the Sixers do.
Last night was tough and will be for a while, but I know there’s a LOT more in the tank for this group and I hope the Sixers front office sees it that way too.
Hopefully they do the right thing.
Run. It. Back.