As a Miami Heat fan, it must have been pretty disturbing to watch your team lose to the Philadelphia 76ers. Then things became a little strange after listening to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James explain the team’s Think Like A Man type chemistry issues.
But there is an upside.
In the short term, the embarrassment of losing to a team that the world thought was tanking should be an early season wake-up call. In the long term, the 76ers’ confidence boost has the potential to foster Miami’s back-end youth movement.
You see, if Philadelphia continues to win, the result is a likely first round matchup with the Heat — or in other words an easy win for the South Beach Boys. It also means that Miami would be receiving a lottery protected first-round pick from the 76ers in exchange for their 2012 draft day trade of Arnett Moultrie.
Which means that the team from the city of Brotherly Love would not only be missing out on the Kansas star Andrew Wiggins but also giving Pat Riley a shot at bringing in two highly touted college stars in a deep 2014 draft — all because the of what NBA insider Chad Ford considers a case of players’ pride.
“Their GMs do [still want Wiggins],” said Ford in today’s ESPN.com chat. “It’s the coaches and players that don’t give a ****. They’re young and they have a chip on their shoulder. The players all think they are better than Wiggins right now. Tough for a GM to stop that…”
However, you have to think that Philadelphia management will eventually place the call to shut down the winning. Maybe not by literally making the call but by allowing the Sixers to keep the people entertained long enough to foster hope until dealing away their mini-stars around the trade deadline.
After all this is the same organization that deemed Nerlens Noel out for the year (before backtracking) even though his recovery from knee surgery was said to be ahead of schedule.
But if Riley has it his way, the 76ers’ success will usher in more of Miami’s luck of the Irish.
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