Sixers Prove A Lot With Win Over Knicks

Last night the Sixers came away with an exciting win over the NY Knicks, the team currently occupying the sixth seed, one spot in front of the Sixers. The win is not merely a one game swing on the NY Knicks. It is so much more than that. A win like that over a quality opponent is a sign that the Sixers have no fear, and that mindset is the first step in the revitalization of the team. The Sixers are currently 23-26. Not only are they only three games below .500, they are only four wins off of last year’s win total and it is not even the all-star break.

Do not be mistaken. The NY Knicks are indeed not the Lakers or the Celtics but they are certainly a team that is much improved and they are in the Sixers way. The fear factor is gone. Doug Collins mentioned last night in his post-game press conference that the guys believe that they can play with and beat anyone in the NBA. Teams that win championships have that same belief and no, there may not be any reason to get the floats ready for the Sixers, but if they are ever going to take that trip down Broad St. they have to start believing in themselves. Why not now?

A year ago, the Sixers would have lost that type of game. A game where they were up big and allowed the Knicks to get hot and take control for two quarters. This season’s team has so much more character, composure and strength. This team has leadership and this team has attitude. Those attributes are what caused them not to buckle last night. In fact, they buckled alright, but they had the will and determination to come back. A weaker team would have probably been on a losing streak following last weeks huge collapse to the Grizzlies, but this Sixers team responded by rattling off a three game win streak.

The attitude has a lot to do with the young nucleus of this team. Jrue Holiday has performed like a top tier NBA point guard. Evan Turner is starting to settle into a nice role. Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams have led the best bench in the NBA. But do not forget the veterans. Do not forget the two highest paid players on the team, who are finally starting to show why. Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand have stepped up to the plate and taken the reins of this team. Iguodala has fought through the trade talk and has rattled off some very nice performances as of late. He dropped in 18 points and added a career high 16 assists which included tying a Sixers record for assists in a quarter with 9.

Elton Brand came up absolutely huge contributing 16 boards and 33 points. That type of production is something that Sixers fans literally have not seen in years. The last Sixer to record atleast 25 points and 15 rebounds was Chris Webber.

These two are beginning to develop into a nice leadership tandem. They may never be the NBA’s best 1-2 punch, but Doug Collins has done a nice job of making them leaders and the young guys are following them into battle.

The Sixers will have the unique opportunity of facing the same team twice in a row as they play the Knicks tomorrow at 12pm. They will have the opportunity to pull to within one game of the 6th seed and it is safe to believe that they will not role over for any team.

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