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PHI 107, CHI 104: The Sixers did it again. The beautiful bastards did it again.

Nov 3, 2013, 6:27 AM EDT

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers

We’re in uncharted waters here, people. Once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend. Three nights after beating the two-time-champion Miami Heat and just one night after taking down the resurgent Wizards in Washington, the Sixers moved to 3-0 last night against the Chicago Bulls–maybe the only team in the East (or even all of basketball) expected to be on Miami’s level this season–with a victory no less astounding than either of those historically unexpected Ws.

It’s 6:00 in the morning (7:00 by non-DST body clock standards) and I’m far too tired to write my usual novella about the heroes that made last night’s upset possible, so I’m gonna hit it and quit it in top ten list form, from least to most important to last night’s win:

10. Daniel Orton. Solid PT off the bench, 2-2 for four points with a board, an assist and typical defensive presence in 11 minutes. Looks to have legit backup center potential.

9. Darius Morris. Hit a three and a buzzer-beating iso jumper to end the first and keep the Sixers afloat.

8. Lavoy Allen. After basically no-showing the pre-season, Lavoy has come correct in the first three games of the regular, showing much improved range on his jumper and giving the second unit desperately needed scoring punch. Six points and four boards tonight.

7. Wells Fargo Center crowd. Can’t say enough about the WFC turnout these last two home games–a little lucky we had big names in town to attract otherwise uninterested fans, but those in attendance have given the 76er performances the rapturous reception they deserve.

6. Tony Wroten. Has already matched last season’s total of threes made (four) and tripled last season’s total of games in double-figure scoring. Avert your eyes from the heat-check three and alley-oop in transition attempts, though.

5. Evan Turner. Evan’s least impressive stat line of the season, and his defense is always an adventure against a team as tough and athletic as the Bulls, but he still managed to hit the 20-point plateau for the third time in three tries, shooting 7-16 from the field and 6-7 from the charity stripe. There were only five games where Evan got to the line seven times or more last year.

4. Thaddeus Young. One of the only Sixers to play defense last night, and three three-pointers–one more than he hit in the last two seasons combined–including two standstill bombs I still can’t believe actually went in.

3. Brett Brown. He gets the team running, he gets the team executing, and he even gets the team to run a play to get the game-sealing open bucket instead of letting ET work his way to a contested step-back elbow jumper. After Brett Brown, no team is ever going to take less than an entire summer to choose their new head coach again.

2. Spencer Hawes. 18 points, 11 boards, and this impossibly poised pump-fake and drop-the-mic jumper:

Welcome back, Lockout Spence. Oh, how we have missed you.

1. Michael Carter-Williams. This graphic just about says it all about our most unexpected Rookie of the Year front-runner:

The Sixers are 3-0, without a cupcake win in the bunch. The Championship Belt remains ours. It’s probably still more fluke or coincidence than legitimate trend, but it’s getting harder to stay guarded about it. In any event, this is the biggest story of the early NBA season, and I can’t wait to spend the next week writing about it.

  1. Bob - Nov 3, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    This probably isn’t sustainable. The defense isn’t great and I can’t getting down 20 as a good way to win games going forward.

    But who cares. It’s the most exciting thing we have in Philadelphia sports right now and it’s great to see Carter-Williams off to such a great start. It’s great to see people excited in Philadelphia and it’s fun to see he effort these guys put out there and get rewarded for that effort. Your point number 7 was so true, those players deserved this ovation.

  2. Tony - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Let’s hope it’s not sustainable for too long. Either way Hinkie has an eye for talent and value so I’m not too concerned. If these guys keep playing over their heads their trade value will sky rocket so either way he can build a winner and hopefully keep finding stars like the one that appears to be in MCW.

    • eaglegreen - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Get off the tanking theory. Sports are to entertain n enjoy. The future not promised neither is the top lottery pick key word LOTTERY. So let the fans enjoy our team win lose or draw this team is fun to watch

      • Tony - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Please reread my post. I said it’s cool either way.

  3. eaglegreen - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Loving this young sixers team. Its a little bittersweat because I felt our number 2 pick Turner couldve been doing this from day 1. I blame Doug Collins for stunting his growth by playing him behind Jode Meeks and giving the lead dog position to Iggy then Holiday. We see Brett Brown giving the ball to MCW from day 1and his confidence n game are only gonna get better. Evans ballin like a number 2 pick. Thads game is expanding along with Hawes. Its easy to tell Brett Brown comes from under Gregg Pop cuz the Spurs always seem to make good players play great and ok players play good in big moments. All guys I never really heard of. Okc made Westbrook and Harden much better than anyone expected. Golden State has got Clay thompson and Curry playn at all star levels. Indiana young star Paul George didnt blossom until Granger got hurt thus giving him the ball. I say all this to say that player development via free flowing coaching style has the sixers showing future promise and I hope Evan Turner resigns

  4. hitnrun - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Yeah, forget the tanking thing. It’s not gonna happen. This is the NBA, where a third of the teams are essentially ProAm. This is the NBA, where a sub .500 team *makes the playoffs* in the East every year.

    Look at the schedule and pencil in wins and losses. Then realize that you’re *not just penciling in 79 losses for the Sixers* and realize that the plan is doomed. We’re going to need some incredible luck here, people. In the meantime, enjoy the ride, cause there’s nothing to be done now.

  5. PhillyFan - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    After some short, and slightly depressing research, the latest professional Philly team to go 3-0 to start the season was the 2011 Flyers. Go figure. Go Sixers!

  6. lahoe819 - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    They showed a line after the game last night that the last time the Sixers started 3-0 was in 06-07 and they then proceeded to go 5-19 (almost like they’re telling us at home “don’t worry, there’s still a really good chance we’re gonna blow this” lol). To be honest I think this is best for the team. Get these guys like Spence and Ev and Thad playing well early on so that come trade deadline time their value is increased. Don’t get me wrong I really like them more than most 76er fans but I think time has come to blow the team up and rebuild (if trading Jrue wasn’t evidence enough of that). It’s cool to think what the team would be like with Noel out there. They might not be better but it’d be really nice to have him and MCW gel for a bit. Hinkie has his PG, has his C. I like Ev, I really do. I wish he would’ve developed like we expected him to when we took him 2 overall (but to be honest, is John Wall doing much better???). But unless he has a breakout All Star caliber season like Jrue did last year I think it’s time we ship him while we can still get a return on him. And let’s just indulge for a second that we somehow luckily get the number 1 pick (and hey while we’re at it the number 6 pick from New Orleans so it’s not protected!). It’s pretty much a lock that whoever gets the 1 is taking Wiggins. Correct me if I’m wrong but he’s a SF right? We’ve all seen how much better Ev is as a 3 than a 2. Again, purely hypothetical given that we get the number 1 pick. Not that I support tanking, especially in the NBA when getting the top pick is anything but a lock (only 1 team in like 12 years has been the worst and gotten the top pick: Cleveland with Lebron… coincidence Mr. Stern???). I just view this season as a good season for the Sixers regardless. If they win some games they shouldn’t and surprise the Bulls and Heat, hey that’s always fun. If they suck and we get a top 10 and top 5 pick we’re talking about possibly 4 starters taken in the top 12 (I think top 12) spots of the last 2 drafts. I really hope, in that situation, Hinkie can do what OKC did and build a powerhouse by drafting good young talent that some may consider a bit raw and have a coach that develops them as a unit.

    • Tony - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Bottom line for me is there is only one GM in town I believe in and it’s Hinkie. Whatever happens I like our chances with him making the call.

  7. Justin Taylor - Nov 3, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Brett Brown gets the credit for this W, I’m sorry.

    With the way this game started, I don’t think there’s anyway to dispute his affect on this team so far. It may be because we have dealt with “Turner vs. Collins”, “AI vs. Collins”, “AI vs. Larry Brown”; but B. Brown seems like he has this team on marionette strings. However he wants them to play, almost instantly, that’s how they begin playing.

    Watching this team as opposed to the teams of the last 5-7 years is absolute night and day.


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