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Throwing The Fight: 76ers 95, Celtics 94

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For what it’s worth, I don’t think these teams were trying to lose. I don’t think the missed free throws, the ugly offense, the sub-40 percent shooting on both sides were intentional, on either side.

I don’t think a team intentionally sets the franchise record for most losses in a month.

I think Jared Sullinger’s help defense nearly made Evan Turner miss his layup attempt. I think Turner crossed over Bayless badly, and he made a tough, hanging shot — a contested shot, incidentally, that he missed just a few possessions before. I think Jared Sullinger scoring 24 points and pulling down 17 rebounds is extremely impressive, given his injured finger, and not the actions of a player who has surrendered to tanking. I think the Sixers racing up and down the floor with no regard for their lungs or their exhaustion is something only a team trying to win would do. I think Jeff Green attacking the basket, however ineffectually, shows that he doesn’t want to lose. He wants to win.

I also think that Danny Ainge has set this team up to fail, and fail hard. He may have even done a good enough job to make them worse than Philadelphia, not intentionally, but simply because the players on Philadelphia’s roster are somehow better than the players on Boston’s roster.

But that’s just what I think, and frankly, I don’t really want to think about it anymore.

Brian will be by for more later.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • The Cardinal

    I think Coach Brad and Danny are gonna have to do some real soul searching when the best guard/swing man on the squad is on his 2nd 10 day contract.

    I really hope that talent will trump expectations and “the way they hoped certain players would develop” and the after the deadline rotation will be focused on developing those players who have actually demonstrated they are talented and have the ability to get better fast.

    • YouSerious?

      Are you putting Avery Bradley in that statement, or are you not counting him because he’s hurt?

      • The Cardinal

        Truthfully, on any given night, Johnson would probably provide this squad as much as Bradley would, albeit in different ways. For the umpteenth time yes, Bradley brings mad defensive skills which is great for a backup guard – ala Bruce Bowen or Tony Allen or Will Bynum. But the team will be serious handicapped at one of two positions where historically, you need a scorer/shooter/decent ball handler who can consistently get his own shot, finish at the rim, make good passes when he’s double-teamed or cut off, and who can really take over a game in order to win consistently. I remain very skeptical whether Avery Bradley is that guy.

        I like Avery well enough at the right price and as a non-starter, but if we are hanging our hat on AB being our two guard of the future, I really believe that would be one of the biggest overvaluing of a 1.5 dimensional player in recent memory.

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  • Jim

    The recent trades have made the team worse for the short run but hopefully better when you look at the big picture. We have some nice players on the roster but no one except for Rondo that can be considered as an exceptional player. Bradley stands out because everyone else is horrible at putting the ball in the basket. I do not think he is a starter on a contending team. He is poor handling the ball and he is too short to play the sg position. If he could bring back a decent draft choice I think Ainge moves him..Sullinger plays hard and does more for his size then we should expect. I think Humphries plays hard every night too but Ainge either trades him or lets him become a free agent. Olynk is really unpolished and needs a lot of work . Bayless is a huge step down from having Crawford and Lee who are both doing really well with their new teams. The big hope is we get lucky in the draft and Rondo comes close to being the player he once was. If I am Ainge I do not sign him to a new contract until he proves that. . It has been a rough season for us all.