This can’t last, can it?
That’s right. After we spent the whole offseason making fun of the Sixers for their obvious plans to be as horrible as they can possibly be (and thus win the rights to the No. 1 draft pick next year) the team went out and opened its season on Wednesday … by beating the defending champion Miami Heat, 114-110. It helped that Miami’s Dwayne Wade sat out the game, but still.
There has been some reaction, as you can imagine. The Bleacher Report’s headline summed it up: “Dear Philadelphia 76ers, You’re Tanking Wrong.”
All you really need to know to understand the breadth of this game is that Michael Carter-Williams, a spindly point guard from Syracuse who was regarded as a project because of his shooting and turnover woes in college, had the most steals in his debut than any rookie in league history. He had nine of them including one on the game’s first possession, which he turned into a stunning dunk seconds later.
Add to that in the third quarter the Heat set a building record for points in a quarter with 45 — the Wells Fargo Center is 17 years old and has had four different official names not including the unofficial “Spectrum II” so this was not a mark to ignore — and the game starts taking on a supernatural quality.
In a season when victories may be in short supply, the Sixers have already gotten their biggest.
You want attitude?
Well, consider the likelihood of any NBA team, much less one almost unanimously picked to have the worst record, blowing a 22-point lead to LeBron James and the Heat and still finding a way to win.
Consider the impossibility of a team surrendering 80 points in the second and third quarters, trailing by eight with 4:54 to go and then coming back to win.
That takes some character.
Yes. And the team will probably still stink this year. But what a fun start!