Would've been nice to squeak out that win in Boston last night. As messy as the Philadelphia 76ers have been off the court the past few weeks, they've been veritable poetry in motion on it, and beating the Celtics for the first time in forever would've given 'em four Ws in a row heading into the All-Star break. But the Celtics made big shots (and got some big calls) down the stretch, and that was enough for them to edge out the 116-108 victory. (At least the Kings finally lost again last night, too.)
So the Sixers enter the All-Star break at a confused 21-35, already comfortably the best Sixers team of the Brett Brown era, though almost certainly out of any serious playoff contention. Normally, this would be the time of the year for fans to kick their feet up and see what else is on TV -- but with this Sixers team, even if it was possible to turn away from the Dario and T.J. show, there's still a bevy of critically unresolved issues that need closure before we can even begin to consider checking out.
Will Jahlil Okafor actually get traded this season? The Sixers have a week, until next Thursday's trade deadline, to figure out just how badly they played themselves in their Jah maneuvering, and whether or not they can still get a half-decent package out of New Orleans (or some other poor saps) in exchange for our supposed blue-chip big. When is Joel Embiid coming back from his bone bruise / meniscus tear / voodoo curse? Brett Brown insisted he was definitely going to come back and play at some point, which is mostly terrifying for the implication that they had at least considered the possibility he wouldn't. Is that Simmons guy coming through? He's got 26 games left to prove the team hasn't been misleading us all along about our No. 1 overall pick.
Heady times ahead for Sixers fans, and in the meantime we'll get to watch Jah and Dario (but not T.J., because foolishness) at the Rising Stars challenge tomorrow night, with JoJo likely attending but sadly not participating. (Give him a clipboard and a tweed jacket and let him coach the international team, why not?) It's never been both the best of times and worst of times as simultaneously as this for Sixers fans, but the weeks to come may push us even further in the direction of both extremes. In the meantime, definitely remember to look for the blue check on those Twitter accounts.