Here, dear friends, is the perfect encapsulation of just how much drama was packed into Monday's matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, the teams with the two worst records in the NBA: A man with front-row seats at Wells Fargo Center appears to have fallen sound asleep in the middle of the game.
On one hand, it seems somewhat surprising that anyone could get so tuckered while sitting mere feet away from an NBA game as to conk out amid all the yelling, sneaker-squeaking, game-ops music blaring and announcing. On the other, Monday was a seriously long night for Sixers fans, who had to watch a Bucks team that has won the fewest games in the NBA this season beat the Sixers by 20 points. Milwaukee outscored Philadelphia 43-16 in the second quarter, had 106 points after three, and finished with seven players in double-figures, led by O.J. Mayo, who showed a bit more attentiveness than in the recent past to score 25 points on 7 for 9 shooting from 3-point range off Larry Drew's bench.
After watching his team give up 73 first-half points on 59 percent shooting to a Bucks team that ranks second-worst in the NBA in both field-goal percentage and points scored per possession, 76ers coach Brett Brown was asked by CSN Philadelphia's Molly Sullivan what he was emphasizing with his players when it came to defense. His answer was perfect:
"To play it." Given the tenor of the performance, maybe he should have said, "To wake up."
The 76ers have now lost 11 straight games, and 21 of their last 24, and have people wondering if their tanking has become so blatant and toxic as to invite league scrutiny. Goodnight, Philadelphia. Sleep well, and dream of better days ahead.
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