Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ouch

If you like pain and want to re-live tonight's epic loss, 121-76 to the Chicago Bulls, then keep on reading. It started bad and it just kept getting worse. When it reached 30 points and you expected the typical we're-killing-this-team letdown, where the 30-point lead shrinks to 17 or 18 points before the winner cruises to the end with a solid victory, the lead rose to 40 points. And then it got up to 51 points.

Ouch

Post-blowout Doug Collins Video: Post-blowout Doug Collins

If you like pain and want to re-live tonight's epic loss, 121-76 to the Chicago Bulls, then keep on reading. It started bad and it just kept getting worse. When it reached 30 points and you expected the typical we're-killing-this-team letdown, where the 30-point lead shrinks to 17 or 18 points before the winner cruises to the end with a solid victory, the lead rose to 40 points. And then it got up to 51 points.

Really, there's nothing else to say about the nuts-and-bolts except that this was the most embarassing loss in recent memory. And that's saying something.

But the more important question that this game creates is: what's the reality of this team? Are the previous 10 games the reality? Or is this game the reality. More clearly stated, here's exactly what I asked Andre Iguodala about 30 minutes ago: Which is the anomaly, this game or the previous 10 games? Here's what Iguodala said:

"Um, if you ask me, I think it’s the last 10 games. We’ve just been getting by. We’ve been getting some good wins at home, but I don’t think we’ve been playing good basketball. Other teams haven’t been playing too well against us and then we start winning, teams wake up. They don’t sleep on you anymore. They had a couple of days to scout us, we had a couple of days to scout them."

More from Iguodala: "I don’t think we’ve been playing that well; we’ve been playing good enough to win against teams we’ve been playing. And then we play against those top-notch teams, we kind of get exposed a little bit. And that’s what happened tonight."

You can check out the video of Doug Collins' take, which should be embedded below. Collins called the game an "aberration" and said his team had no juice. More from Collins: "I looked at our coaches and said, ‘Our guys, they’re not there tonight.’ For whatever reason we just weren’t there. I don’t know if it was a couple of nights in between games in the same city. And just guys, that time of the year where you’re out Christmas shopping and getting stuff taken care of, but they just jumped all over us."

And more: "That was bad."
 
And even more from Collins: "I just told them, I said, ‘Guys, we’ve worked too hard, I hope that’s not what we want to become. I’ll give you one night.’ In an NBA season, you’re going to have clunker, and you see it a lot around the Holiday season."
 
Brand did not seem to have the same take as Iguodala. When asked if he saw this game coming, he said, "No, we’ve been playing really well as of late so we didn’t see this game coming."
 
So what was the post-game discussion among the players?
 
"We have another one tomorrow against an even better team," said Iguodala. "You want another ass whooping or do you want to compete and try to get a win before the break? It’s up to us."
 
It's an interesting night, and certainly interesting quotes from Iguodala, but there won't be any way to judge whether this is an omen of things to come, or an aberration like Collins said, until we see how they play tomorrow against the Boston Celitcs.
 
More tomorrow from Boston.
 
--Kate

Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.

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About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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