The Philadelphia 76ers thought they were taking the next step when they signed Elton Brand in 2008. Yet Sixers fans like myself lived to regret it ever since, which made us relieved that his large salary finally came off the books this summer. Now Brand is going to a new team and is getting far less hoopla and money for it, although he is joining a former world champion – albeit a rebuilding one.
The Philadelphia 76ers made a marked improvement in 2012 that almost got them to the Eastern Conference finals. Yet Sixers fans like myself are already resigned to taking a step back next season, especially with the Boston Celtics still largely together and the Brooklyn Nets rising up. However, the 2012-13 season may not be the one where the SIxers make their big move.
The Philadelphia 76ers are looking for some kind of new piece to help them next season. Yet Sixers fans like myself know that no matter what they do, they can’t match the moves made by the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and especially the Brooklyn Nets. As such, it would make quite a joke if the Sixers became part of the trade that made the Nets more powerful.
The Philadelphia 76ers were minutes away from knocking off the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. Yet Sixers fans like myself were comforted with the perceived notion that the Celtics would break up soon and lose their aging stars. But so far in NBA free agency, Boston has not only kept its stars together, it is even adding pieces as well.
The Philadelphia 76ers will have to make a few tweeks to their roster this offseason. Yet Sixers fans like myself are resigned to the reality that they can’t pursue any big name stars right now. But this sets the Sixers apart from everyone else in the Atlantic Division as NBA free agency starts.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics set offense back a few years in the second round of the playoffs. Yet Sixers fans like myself are used to seeing ugly, defensive-minded games, and so are the Celtics as well. That’s why the Eastern Conference Finals between Boston and the Miami Heat were often ugly too – but the NBA Finals between the Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to have both teams scoring over 100-110 points every night.
The Philadelphia 76ers may or may not have been able to do what the Boston Celtics are doing against the Miami Heat. Yet Sixers fans like myself can only dream about what might have been in a Philadelphia-Miami Eastern Conference final. But while the Sixers wish they could have matched the Celtics, Boston has other bars to live up to – like the one set by the Oklahoma City Thunder, for instance.
The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be the last playoff victims of the Boston Celtics’ Big Four era. Yet Sixers fans like myself are among those stunned to see the Celtics draw even with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. In fact, going into Game 5 on June 5, Boston may have a better shot at the NBA Finals than the San Antonio Spurs – the other veteran team taking one last title run against a team of young superstars.
The Philadelphia 76ers weren’t young or healthy enough to knock off the Boston Celtics in the second round. Yet Sixers fans like myself now have to see the Miami Heat show them up and make the Celtics look even older in the Eastern Conference finals. Unless Boston bounces back in Game 2 on May 30, then it will be even clearer that its age has caught up with it – although that has not stopped teams like the San Antonio Spurs from excelling.
The Philadelphia 76ers were huge underdogs against the Chicago Bulls before the NBA playoffs started. Yet Sixers fans like myself were startled to actually expect them to beat the Bulls, after Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah both went down. But now that the Sixers aren’t facing a team in the second round that has lost all their superstars, they are back to being underdogs again.