Is tonight's game important? Is the Dow Jones tanking? Are the Eagles actually still in the playoffs?
Yes, Yes, Yes.
How important is it? I propose: Wicked Important.
Let's look at why:
1.) The Bobcats aren't good. They are 13-23. They are one spot above the basement of the Eastern Conference. The time for losing to these types of teams (remember the loss, already, at Charlotte, the loss the Minnesota Timberwolves, the loss at home to the Indiana Pacers) is beyond over. It just can't happen anymore. A home game against the Charlotte Bobcats 35 games into this season must be a victory.
2.) The Sixers are playing their best basketball of the season. You can contend it started with the Denver Nuggets game, but I would disagree. The Sixers were bad against Utah, and tanked against the Mavericks. I say this started after the first quarter of the San Antonio Spurs game. Sometimes that's how it works. The Sixers walked to the bench down 40-19. Maybe they were, finally, embarrassed enough to get angry. Whatever the case was, the last 11 quarters -- not all of them, but collectively -- we've seen the team we wanted to see. You can't revert to old habits against the Charlotte Bobcats and expect people who are thinking of climbing onboard to feel good about that.
3.) Things aren't getting easier. The Sixers travel to Atlanta to play the Hawks on Sunday. (A game, may I mention, that starts 1 hour after the start of the Eagles game ... Sigh ...) After, they host the Portland Trailblazers then the San Antonio Spurs. You can't be angry with a loss to any of those teams. Making tonight's game even more important. I liken it to that loss to the Pacers just before Christmas, the last game before the six games on the road. That was a bad loss because the Sixers needed that win before the grueling schedule ahead.
Throughout this season, certain Sixers like Andre Iguodala and Willie Green have said after certain losses that at the end of the season they would look back on that game and wish they could have it back. They said this after the loss to the Timberwolves and the loss to the Pacers. That's tonight, too.
So, basically, I think I've said the same thing in three different ways. The same thing using 500 words instead of just 10 (including one contraction):
The Sixers can't let this game get away from them.
p.s. The photo is of Elton Brand doing his conditioning before the game. He ran sprints, did defensive slides, etc. He looked tired when he left the floor. I bet he can't wait to be 100 percent back because his conditioning right now is much worse than being a part of practice.