There was a time as Sixers fans when being 16 games into the season meant it legitimately felt like there was no chance the team would ever win another game of basketball. Now, we're beating teams at home by a lot because we're better than them, moving to multiple games over .500, and — as of last night — even breaking even with our overall scoring differential. Yawn.
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Utah Jazz last night by a score of 107-86. Joel Embiid had something of an off night (15 points on 7-16 shooting), our shooters couldn't quite get it going (4-15 from deep), but we still won by 21. It wasn't quite a blowout, but it definitely wasn't a nail-biter. It wasn't an upset or a moral loss or a validating triumph. It wasn't anything, really, except a win.
In its own way, of course, that makes it the most meaningful W of the season for Philly. It has been a very long time — maybe since the Doug Collins era — since the Sixers won a game without it being a referendum on either team. The Sixers simply won because they're a better team with more good players — especially with the Jazz missing a couple key dudes, though we also beat them in Utah a couple weeks ago without Joel Embiid, so whatever. And the Jazz aren't even the worst team in the league, or really even one of them — they're just a not-totally-terrible team that the Sixers are still decisively superior to.
Long have I dreamed of wins like this, to have a game where there was nothing to say in the recap except how there's nothing really to say in the recap. Next time the Sixers pick up another W this casual — and it probably won't take all that long, either — I won't even be able to write this column again. I'll probably have to try writing in haiku or cryptogram or something to attempt to make the story interesting.
And that's fine: After four years of historic losing, we'll trade narratives for Ws any time. You keep it real boring, Sixers.