Bulls-Celtics awesome, Sixers far from it

Last night's NBA playoff action featured a tremendous display in which the Chicago Bulls forced a seventh and deciding game in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics with a 128-127 triple-overtime win. Of the six games, four have gone to OT, with a total of seven extra periods. Absolutely classic.

And then there was the pathetic display at the Wachovia Center last night, with the Orlando Magic finishing off the Philadelphia 76ers in six games with a 114-89 rout. Before the game all the talk was about how the absence of Dwight Howard (one-game suspension due to an elbowing incident) and Courtney Lee (injured by another Howard elbow, albeit not on purpose) would give the Sixers a strong chance to force a game 7. And then the game started.

(Permit me a little comic book geek interlude here. If Dwight Howard is Superman, the Sixers weren't exactly Lex Luthor or General Zod, as in "Kneel before..." and they had no kryptonite. They were more like Mr. Myxzptlk, the imp from the fifth dimension who was always tricked into saying his name backwards, thus triggering his return to his own dimension. But in this case, instead of Superman, the Sixers were defeated by a bunch of Jimmy Olsens. Okay, end of geek interlude.)

Meanwhile, check out what 76er Andre Iguodala had to say after the game...

As the Sixers' spokesman, its face, Andre Iguodala figures he should have input.

As the team's general manager, Ed Stefanski better get ready to listen.

"We could have been a 50-win team," Iguodala said last night after the Sixers lost Game 6, 114-89, and their Eastern Conference quarterfinal to the Magic, their second six-game, first-round playoff loss in as many seasons.

His solution?

"Moves. It's going to be a busy summer," Iguodala said. "I'm going to sit down with Ed and discuss what I think will get us over the [hump]."

Again, I have to provide the disclaimer that I'm not really a fan of the NBA, but from what I've casually observed, if Andre Iguodala has some thoughts, he should really look in the mirror first. He's one of the most overrated and way overpaid players in the league. Why the Sixers signed him to a huge contract extension is beyond comprehension. And now he wants to play GM? We're not talking Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson here.

This is a prime example of exactly what's wrong with the NBA now. The huge contracts given Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert (another waste of money) and Elton Brand (who barely showed up before a shoulder injury ended his season, and even when he played he didn't do much) ruin the team salary cap-wise, even after finally getting some cap room by ridding themselves of the likes of Allen Iverson and Chris Webber. How can they make this team much stronger without signing free agents or getting lottery picks? A team that hovers around .500 and squeaks into the playoffs, only to be easily dismissed in the opening round, is no fun if there's no hope for future improvement.

All I can say is I'm glad I'm not a big basketball fan and was watching other stuff instead last night. Those people who are hardcore Sixers fans are pretty apoplectic -- about the game, the players, the coach, the GM, everything. I've mentioned in the past how attendance has been dropping in the post-Iverson era. Three 2009 playoff games -- no sellouts. The fans who stayed to the end last night reportedly booed their lungs out. If the 76ers think they had trouble selling tickets this season, just wait.

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