Nov 2, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT
2 of 2. So crazy right now.
After last night’s victory against the Washington Wizards, combined with losses over the last two nights from the Knicks (to the Bulls in Chicago) and the Raptors (to the Hawks in Atlanta), the Sixers now sit alone on top of the Atlantic Division standings. The Sixers also led the Atlantic for a spell in the early ’11-’12 lockout season, if you’ll recall, before dramatically falling out of the hunt towards season’s end, as we’re confident they’ll do soon enough this year as well.
Still, hands up if you thought the only chance the Sixers would have of owning even a share of the division lead this season would be if every other team also lost on opening night tied at 0-1 after one game. Not only are the Sixers the only remaining undefeated team in the Atlantic, they’re one of only two lossless teams (along with the Indiana Pacers) in the entire East, and one of just six in the whole league.
(One of the other undefeateds, by the way? The 2-0 Phoenix Suns, supposedly the Sixers’ primary competition in the Wiggins-riggin’ rankings. What is this, professional baseball? Are no bad teams allowed to actually be bad at the start of the season?)
In addition to all this, the Sixers also stay holding one of basketball’s prestigious honors (which I had never heard about until less than 24 hours ago): The NBA Championship Belt. This distinction, tracked in perpetuity by the aptly titled nbachampionshipbelt.com, awards said belt at season’s start to the title-winning team of the previous postseason. The honor is then bequeathed to the first team that beats them, and then to the next team that beats the title-winning team, and so on and so forth. By dealing the Heat their first loss of the season on Wednesday, the Sixers claimed the title belt, and obviously defended it against the Wizards last night.
All thoroughly meaningless, of course, but another show of hands if you thought we’d ever get to use phrases like “Division title” or “Championship belt” with regards to this Sixers season, in even the least consequential of contexts.
(Shout out to friend of the Level @emptyblog for the Championship Belt tip.)
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