Did the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers lose to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Sunday afternoon because several players went to a Lil Wayne concert the night before? It's tough to say.
Did the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers lose to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Sunday afternoon because of the game's scheduled noon starting time? That might be the bigger factor. Sure, the Kings had to play at that unfamiliar time as well, but you never know how each team will react once their shift is turned on its ear.
Sixers guard Lou Williams brought up the unofficial team field trip following the loss on Sunday. From The 700 Level:
LouWill did hit the big three at the regulation buzzer to send the game into overtime, his only made field goal of the game, but he told reporters after the game that a team outing to said hip-hop concert that included such artists as Nicki Minaj may have taken a little out of their step.
"We took a chance [Saturday night] by going to the Lil Wayne concert," Lou said after the OT loss on Sunday.
But did the concert really have anything to do with their poor performance? It's tough to say.
"You had guys that went that played well, you had guys that went that didn't play well," Williams added.
I'm so far out of the loop in terms of modern music that I couldn't possibly comment on what Wayne's brand of music would bring to the table, but even if the 76ers limited themselves to one Diet Sprite before running home as soon as they could to catch some pregame Z's, the Sunday matinee has long been a killer for all manner of basketball teams. It's a killer even if they stayed in all night.
Because, yes, they play a kid's game. But they also do it at night 95 percent of the year, and when the team plays on the road before flying home that night, bedtime is usually four or five in the morning. They signed up for it and are compensated handsomely for such things, but that doesn't mean they can go all superhuman on you once asked to completely turn around their schedule and come to work seven or eight hours before their body's clock is used to turning it on for a game.
And as someone who watched the game, and even part of the replay later that afternoon, the Sixers were mainly toppled by Sacramento's length, and another pugnacious performance from new Kings guard Marcus Thornton. Good showing for Sacto, too, because this game was played at 9 in the morning local/body clock time. That can't be easy.