You Can't Improve and Finish Last
I’ve never understood the column Sam Donnellon’s writes today:
You've heard of do-or-die? Well, for the Sixers the next 3 weeks are more like do-and-die. Friday is Groundhog Day, which rather appropriately begins a seven-game homestand that has every Greg Oden-lusting-fan on edge.Okay, yeah, it is cheeky and subversive to root for your team to lose. You get to look like a knowledgable fan. But I categorically don’t believe it. Sam continues:
There's no way around it. The Sixers are playing better basketball now than at any point since that 3-0 start this season. They have won four of their last six to slice their pingpong percentages by more than half, and it might have been even worse had they not blown that 17-point lead to the LeBron-less Cavs the other night.
They are now just eight games behind leader Toronto in the pitiful Atlantic Division. And that leads to this unnerving thought: Which is more likely to happen in the coming weeks - the Sixers challenge for the Atlantic lead and, egads, a playoff spot, or the Sixers outlose the likes of Memphis, Boston, Charlotte to secure the best chance at that No. 1 draft pick?
Not since fans were compelled to throw snowballs at Santa has success felt more like failure.
Or are you dying with every win, with every baby step Samuel Dalembert makes, with every big-point game Andre Iguodala records, with every three-pointer Kyle Korver so effortlessly drains? Imagine Oden and Dalembert together next year, with Iguodala and Korver? And yet each time one of the current Sixers does something of promise, the chance of that becomes less.Well, isn’t that just it? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have both Dalembert continue to improve, Iguodala evolving into a true 18-point scorer and plus defender and Korver into an instant offense perimeter player- and the team still stink. The choice is either losing six draft positions and finding out those three guys on the roster can play with Miller and be decent- or getting some more ping pong balls by going 5-25 and finding out that this mix catagroically can’t. The choice Donnellon wants- the guys step up but still go twenty games under .500 isn't possible- particularly in the Atlantic Division, with so many home games.
I’d much rather the Sixers be one/two guys a way from a sort of relevance, with a decent collection of young players and three first round draft picks- than be a disaster without any short term hope like the Flyers.