For those of you who still care about basketball after the Sixers' playoff disappointment, I applaud you. The envy and jealously I have around this time of year is insane. Seeing Boston and Miami fans doing victory laps on social media, being proud of their team making the conference finals is something I want to experience. Unfortunately, for Philadelphia sports fans born post 2001 like me, we have never seen our beloved Sixers in the ECF. Such a shame.
Just because the Sixers aren't a participant in the conference finals, doesn't mean you shouldn't watch. I know it's baseball season and the Phils are rolling, but when Girardi makes another bonehead move with the bullpen, you may need sports watching alternative.
This is the Philly Sports Fan guide to the rest of the NBA Playoffs. Top 5 things to root for:
1. Seven Game Series
I mean, who doesn't love a good seven game series? Between the NHL and NBA playoffs, we have been blessed with some great series that go the distance. But, enough with these game 7 blowouts. I want some real grit and grind seven game series. These 30 point thrashings in elimination games are not it. Would love to see Jimmy and Tatum go back and forth in elimination games, fighting to the death for every minute. Watching game 7's with no stress are fun, but close games make them exponentially more pleasurable.
Luka and Steph are the two best point guards in the league. I want to see them play as many games as possible.
2. Jalen Brunson
Philadelphia's own, Jalen Brunson. Villanova Legend, Jalen Brunson. I would want nothing more than to see Brunson as a world champion. Watching him all throughout his college days, he quickly became one of my favorite college players of all time. Brunson's Nova teams will always be a core memory of my youth, seeing him as an NBA Champion would be the cherry on top.
What has really made me fall in love with Brunson even more since he has been in the league, is not his play on the court, rather is constant pro-Eagles tweets... while playing in DALLAS! Absolute legend.
3. The Winner of the Western Conference to win the Finals
This is a no brainer. This is like cheering against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl every year. I absolutely do not want to see the Heat or Celtics lifting the trophy this June. Both teams possess the worst fanbases in the association. Those losers do not deserve the satisfaction of a NBA Championship. So, they makes rooting for whoever comes out the west very easy.
Of course, the Warriors are the clear favorite to come out the west, it seems we could see Golden State compete for yet another finals. As I alluded to with Jalen Brunson, it would be really freaking cool to see the Mavs win... But, If I have to root for the Warriors, I will root for the Warriors.
4. Al Horford to fail
I usually don't like hating on players to this extent, but this just seems necessary. After all the money he robbed from the Sixers, I have good reason to hate on him. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his production up in the ECF, it isn't likely, however, his 2nd round scoring-run was more fake than Julius Randle's 2020-21 shooting splits.
Also, I do not want to see his sister on my twitter timeline. Like, ever again.
5. Jimmy Butler
Even with the shenanigans after game six, I still think most Sixer fans have a soft spot for Jimmy Butler. I love his attitude towards the game and the style of which he plays it. It is really easy to root for Jimmy in these playoffs. But damn, I wish he was still a 76er.
Keep in mind, it's ok to root for Jimmy but not the Heat. Seeing Jimmy leave it all out on the court, averaging a near 30 point triple double, but to lose because Bam Adebayo shot 38% from the field, would be hilarious in its own right.