(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Had you asked me earlier in the day, I would have told you the Sixers had no chance to beat the Warriors on the road. However, shortly before tip-off, it was announced that Klay Thompson would miss the game due to illness. Klay’s illness opened the door for the Sixers to pull the upset and they took advantage. The Warriors still had Durant, Curry, Cousins and Green out there. I don’t feel bad for them in the slightest. The Sixers were led by Ben Simmons. The stats won’t show it, but Simmons arguably played the best game I’ve ever seen him play as a pro. He was dominant on both ends of the floor, and without him the Sixers don’t sniff a victory.
Jimmy Butler struggled on offense once again, but he didn’t let that effect his game on the defensive end. The versatility of Butler and Simmons on defense makes the Sixers defense elite. Their ability to guard so many different positions let’s them switch everything on defense. The Sixers deserve a trophy for holding the Warriors to 104 points. 104 points is the fewest amount of points they have scored since Christmas. Klay or no Klay, that is a great accomplishment.
Yesterday’s win should do wonders for the psyche of the Sixers and the confidence of Ben Simmons. They looked poised and confident as the game reached its closing stages. In the past, they have lost their composure and blown games like that. Last night at Oracle, they kept it together and never let them go on one of their patented fourth-quarter runs. The bench is also starting to show a pulse for the Sixers. Bolden and Shamet came up huge for the Sixers last night.
Shamet has been a revelation for the Sixers this season. I don’t think anyone expected the contributions he’s given when they took him at the end of the first round. The Sixers will be players in the buyout market, which will only help the depth of the bench.
Now, finally to my Super Bowl pick:
I like the Patriots, 34-31. The Patriots are on a mission right now, and we know they have been there before. I can’t see them losing the Super Bowl two years, back-to-back. If it’s Gronks last game, he goes out on top. You will see the Patriots as sharp as they have ever been. They will jump on them early and make the Rams play from behind from the first quarter.