Here's the latest injury update from the Sixers:
* Thaddeus Young suffered a right thumb fracture during last night's loss to the New York Knicks. Young is out for tomorrow night's game against the New Jersey Nets. He's been placed in a removable cast and the Sixers haven't yet set a timetable for his return.
* Marreese Speights, who suffered a right knee sprain on March 10 against the Toronto Raptors, is also out tomorrow night.
*Lou Williams, who missed last night's game with lower back spasms, is officially listed as a game-time decision tonight.
So those are the current physical injuries with which the Sixers are dealing. But what about the mental suffering? And what about tomorrow night's game against the 7-59 New Jersey Nets?
There really hasn't been much to post about considering it's the same stuff we've been discussing since November, but the shooting performance of Andre Iguodala during last night's game against the Knicks was something different. It wasn't so much that Iguodala missed so many shots, it was how he missed them and his reaction to missing them, and, especially, that final miss at the buzzer. It felt that final shot of his was saying something, almost like Iguodala saying: Well, if we're all just going to go about losing games, why should I worry about trying to win games?
There's a difference between tanking games and having lost any motivation to win games or dedication to the direction of the team. There's no way you can get players to actually not compete to win a game (agree or disagree on that, although the Sixers are making me question that logic), but at times the Sixers do look like they're tanking games because they're so checked out on what Eddie Jordan is doing and have absolutely no motivation to win. If you look at the Knicks, they acquired a bunch of guys and they only have something like 3 or 4 players who have contracts for next season. There's their motivation, plain and simple.
The Sixers are 1-10 in the last 11 games and 3-13 in the last 16 games.
Tomorrow night's game against the Nets has an unusual amount of storylines for such a bad matchup: The Nets are poised to knock off the 1972-73 Sixers for the worst-ever NBA record, if the Sixers can win; the Sixers ability to keep losing and improve their draft positioning; and, of course, the fate of coach Eddie Jordan, which seems to be solidified through this season (meaning he'll stay until the season is over) unless things, somehow, get unbareably embarrassing, although you'd have a strong case to say they already are.
Would a home loss to the Nets qualify? Probably not. The losses are too valuable, aren't they?
It was interesting watching the Sixers vs. Knicks last night. The Knicks have put themselves in a position for vast improvement this off season, while the Sixers are in the position of having to re-establish themselves (with this roster) as competitive again or make an off-season move (thus changing the roster) that will yield better results.
So here's the question: If you were allowed to draft one player from either the Knicks or the Sixers, just one player off either team, to start a franchise, which player would it be? Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, David Lee, or Danilo Gallinari (I can't believe I just wrote that, but the kid is playing pretty well this season)? Or Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, or Jrue Holiday?
Those are a few obvious choices. And the answer is telling. I think at the start of this season the obvious selection would be Andre Iguodala, but something has gone quite wrong this season for the Sixers swingman and it's been difficult for him to turn things around or show leadership with this squad.
In the absence of game situations needing breakdown within this very bad season (a much easier way of posting) the aforementioned question might be the most interesting question that came out of last night's game: Where do Sixers fans stand on Iguodala?
I still say that between those two teams, you build around Iguodala. In the absence of a star between the two teams, Iguodala is still the most complete player, although over the past few weeks Holiday has looked good enough to be the most untradeable piece on the Sixers' roster.