First off, I want to start by saying Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mothers out there. You guys are the best. This game today is for all of you.
This is it. I mean, it’s not all the way it because this team will still be a contender for years to come, but it’s pretty close to it. The biggest game in 18 years for the Philadelphia 76ers. Game 7. In Toronto. The winner advances to the Eastern Conference Finals. A game that could be franchise altering for not just these two teams, but teams around the NBA. A young, flashy, dysfunctional, but lovable team facing off against a dull, robot-like team from another country.
This is what “The Process” was all about. Sam Hinkie’s plan was to bring a championship to Philadelphia one way or another. Now, thanks to Elton Brand, the Sixers have the pieces to achieve that goal. But first, you have to go through moments like these. Win or loss, a game of this magnitude only helps the growth of this franchise’s two cornerstones.
Forget all of the horrendous takes you heard after Game 5 about this rebuild or about certain players. None of that matters today. Believe in these guys. Because I don’t know about you, but this feels different. I’m not getting that “what can go wrong, will go wrong” feeling. I think they’re built for this moment. Last year, the Sixers flatlined the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the first round. Then, they were smacked back down to reality in Game 2. Their response? Winning the next two games in a hostile environment and going onto win the series in five games. Even in the second round they didn’t quit. Down 0-3 in the series. They could have given up. Nope. They were 90 seconds away from sending the series back to Philly for Game 6.
This year, they received a wake up call from the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1. They won four straight after that. The Toronto Raptors punched them in the mouth in Game 1. The Sixers responded with two huge wins. They were punched in the mouth again in Game 5. They answered with a huge Game 6 win. If this is a pattern, Philly will win Game 7.
Say what you want about Brett Brown, but the reason his teams always respond and don’t quit is because he has built a strong culture. A unity of brothers. It shows every time they’re on the court or speaking to the media. There’s a reason the Sixers playoff slogan is “Unite or Die”. At the end of the day, this city is united. And you won’t understand that feeling unless you’re from here. We need this. We deserve this. It’s been awhile since we’ve last had this for our basketball team.
Brett Brown praised Jimmy Butler for having a “significant impact” on Joel Embiid.
Jimmy kept it simple when asked about his leadership style:
“I just go out there and hoop, lead by example, see where we end up.” pic.twitter.com/z9MLQpl68Z
— brianseltzer (@brianseltzer) May 11, 2019
Philadelphia, it’s go time.