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The Spectrum Starts Late Season Run

The Sixers beat the Lakers 103-87 on October 18, 1967, which was their first game ever played at the Spectrum. On March 13, 2009 the Sixers beat the Bulls 104-101, which was their last game ever played at the Spectrum. The Spectrum was the home of the Sixers for years and even though they have not played there since April 19, 1996, the Spectrum still looked like home to the Philadelphia 76ers. Sixers fans from all over the area came together for this final voyage at “America’s Showplace” and supported their playoff fighting team. This sell-out was rocking, at times if I closed my eyes I would have thought the Grateful Dead was selling out their 54th show. This wasn’t your typical Friday night game at the Wachovia Center, the Spectrum was on their feet cheering loud and proud. The before game ceremony was well-deserved and appreciated. Greats like Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, and Julius Ervin were congratulated and Dr. J gave a great speech that challenged this Sixers team to go above and beyond their talents and give back to the fans. Well tonight, the 76ers must have listened.

The 76ers won 104-101 and although it may not have been the prettiest game played it was a W. I saw good and bad aspects of the 76ers game, but the good is far greater than the bad. First off, we are a young team including Coach DiLeo and we went on short lapses where we couldn’t figure out how to defend the ball screen. At first we would get caught up in the screen and Rose drained about 4 shots in a row. Then our big would hedge at Rose, but not get back to his man in time and we would witness a dunk. We eventually started to cheat on the screen and Rose would kick it to the wing for a wide open 3. During these lapses our communication was not effective and the Bulls got some easy points.

Besides the weak defense at times, the Sixers had a very good game and much thanks to the league’s next big thing, Thaddeus Young. This kid was just unbelievable, so young yet so composed. He has the ability to get to the rim at any time, but can counter with his soft jumper. He had 31 and 5. At times Iggy was content with the soft jumper, but played extremely well. His blocked shot on Gordon in the final minutes showed his toughness and how bad he wants to win. Last note for this game would be the intensity of rookie, Marreese Speights. This kid had two dunks that led to scoring runs and got the crowd on their feet.

With 19 games left on the schedule, the Sixers need to listen to the words of Dr. J and step up to the challenge. Right now they are the 7 seed in the East, which most likely equals Boston or Cleveland, something I would not like to see in the first round. The 4-7 seeds are all within 4.5 games, and I think the Sixers need to shoot for that 5 seed, so we don’t have to play the conference’s best in the first round. Being able to win the first round will give this team momentum and confidence and with such a young and athletic team anything can happen.