Let me begin by explaining how absolutely to-the-core satisfying that win felt. All of us — even the most irrationally diehard of us — considered how Game 6 could be the last game of the season. Not only that, but the last game this Sixers team ever played together. Lou Will is probably gone, Jodie Meeks is hopefully gone, I don’t see Spencer Hawes sticking around with Lavoy Allen and Nic Vuvevic on the bench, and there’s always the chance that they could finally deal Iguodala for a more effective scoring option. Even if we didn’t want to admit it to ourselves, we all entertained the thought of finality last night. It’s a good thing nobody told this “naive” (Doug Collins’ word) team.
This 76ers squad isn’t impressed by the Celtics. Sure they recognize that Boston has 3-4 possible Hall of Famers, one of the best coaches in the world, and a championship pedigree, but you can tell by their confidence & persistence (and grit & balls) they feel they’re as good if not better than their opponent. As well they should. The 76ers play such a rabid and swarming style of defense that if they can get even modest offensive production (and some free throws), they generally can hang with anybody.
But defense and scrappiness aren’t what gets the asses shaking. Allen Motherfucking Iverson is what gets the asses shaking. I personally rushed in early into WFC just so I wouldn’t miss AI handing over the game ball, and by the looks of things the majority of Philadelphia did the same thing. The place was pretty much as packed then as it was in the fourth quarter. The moment word got out that AI was in the building, people made damn sure they got there early. And, as expected, Iverson got a HUGE pop from the crowd as I and 20,000 or so other fans chanted “M-V-P!” for the man who took a team starting Tyrone Hill and George Lynch to the NBA Finals. Goosebumps, neck hairs standing, penis fully erect — it was a tremendous moment.
So here we are, shipping up to Boston for the final showdown. Don’t for a second believe that the Celtics and their fans aren’t nervous. They may play it off like they’re still unfazed, but we all saw what can happen. It doesn’t matter if they give the Sixers credit for beating them or fault their own guys for “losing the game” — a win is a win is a win. And somebody is playing their last 48 on Saturday.
Quick Notes after the jump
- That “Beat the Celts” chant the arena wants us to do is dumb. Does anybody even call the Celtics the “Celts”? Pres always called them the “C’s”, right? And why should our home crowd even be on their dicks like that? “Beat” chants should be reserved for “Beat LA” and “Beat the Heat”. Maybe a couple others. “Beat the Celts” doesn’t work and only exists because ownership doesn’t want us chanting “Boston Sucks”, which about 10,000 did anyway as they were leaving the arena.
- In the face!
- This was actually only the second or third game I got to this season, but someone please tell me why there were only cotton candy and water ice guys in my section. I didn’t pay attention to it until last night, but where is the beer guy when you need him? Is that always the deal and I just never noticed? Get that goddamned cotton candy out my face. I’m an adult.
- STOP PUTTING JODIE MEEKS IN THE GAME.
- The parking lot after the game was full-on Sparta. I’d say about 3/4 of the crowd left as they normally would, but at least 1/4 of us hung around the parking lot drinking whatever we had left in the car and relishing the moment. If anyone was listening to 97.5 they heard about a dozen callers all dialing in from the parking lot straight HAMMERED. No topics to discuss. No points to make. Just slurring into the phone about “soaking in the moment”. It was fantastic.
- This team is on the verge of upsetting the #1 seed and upsetting a team with 3 HOFs, yet STILL gets no credit from the national media. And it felt like last night’s win was the team finally proving to ESPN and certain analysts (*CHARLES BARKLEY*) that they are a squad to be respected. THAT’S what the fans were celebrating.
- LOL Paul Pierce flop city.
Damn, looks like I just pulled a Bill Simmons with the length of this blog. Whatever. I could probably write a book on that game. Who knows, maybe someone will write one about our Game 7 win on Saturday.
LET’S GO SIXERS!