Dub Nation Rooting Guide ECSF: Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5). & Open Thread
Steph's Pals vs the mini-me Warriors
Dub Nation Speaks
Janet on Jun 2
Totally agree with your take on Trae Young. He appeared on a Warriors pre-game show before he was drafted, when he announced he was the next Stephen Curry. Greg Papa and Gary St. Jean gave each other a very surprised but knowing look, then smiled at Young, all without saying a word.
Specterace on May 24
I’m rooting for the Sixers. To prove the Process right once and for all. And to destroy the myth of whatever value the “Treadmill of Mediocrity” still has left to whoever out there.
Plus, it will finally lay the truth of the NBA bare for all to see: To win titles, you need, above all else, a sound plan that garners you elite level talent that fits well together. Nothing else (not respectability, not moral victories) serves as a substitute.
And maybe that finally pushes changes that might solve the tanking issue for once. Because if the Sixers prove the validity of the Process, that will freak out the NBA executive community like nothing else, because every other woebegone or low-potential team is going to want to replicate the Process. And I’m sure they hate the thought of that.
Doc on May 24
Sixers. I like how Embiid wears his heart on his sleeve and has a sense of humor. Seth Curry might have a moment these playoffs. Can't stand Westbrook.
Seth Curry. Went nuts in the deciding game of the PHI-WAS series throwing in 30 points to help save the Embiid-less Sixers. Didn’t have much time to blossom during his short time at GSW and left without bitterness to get out of his brother’s shadow. Steph roots for him hard when not playing him head to head.
Anthony Tolliver. Played only one season for the Warriors… I don’t know why it felt like more.
Joel Embiid. Is a public fan of Steph Curry.
Danny Green. Hit key shots in the 2019 Finals between the Raptors and the dying corpse of the Dynasty Warriors. Involved in Klay Thompson’s injury.
Daryl Morey. The GM of the greatest rival to the Dynasty Warriors, the Houston Rockets. He pushed the league towards a caricature of analytics ball with all threes and layups, oversaw the ultra-effective lawyerball of Harden’s isos and foul baiting, and shared spreadsheets and complaints about how the Rockets technically should have won. But also lost with grace (plus or minus the spreadsheets) and had the guts to challenge the champions instead of whining about it non-stop in the press.
Ben Simmons has been a rival with Draymond Green for Defensive Player of the Year (they probably both lose this year to Gobert). The two have also been tied together in trade chatter.
George Hill was part of the scrappy 2018 Cavaliers team that the Dynasty Warriors swept in the Finals. But we can’t really be mad at him for (1) playing hard and (2) gifting us a missed game-winning free throw that led to the famous J.R. Smith moment and then to LeBron mentally checking out of the whole series.
76ers have stunk for so long during the process that there hasn’t been meaningful conflict to cause grudges. And historically there’s been little to speak of.
However, the 76ers famously followed The Process to intentionally lose for years to stock up on high draft picks. This is, depending on your point of view, somewhere between an insanely clever life hack to take advantage of the rules and an insult to the game, the fans, and a glib title for being a giant corporate welfare cheat.
GM Travis Schlenk helped assemble the Dynasty Warriors as Associate GM, then got the big seat in 2017 in ATL, and immediately stole away GSW head performance therapist Chelsea Lane. Maybe that makes him a villain? He followed a Warriors-esque blueprint, even drafting micro-Steph Trae Young.
None that I know of.
Trae Young. Started as a college star with a very Steph Curry style game style. Had a splashy but inefficient rookie year as a micro Steph Curry. Then turned to the dark side to become a macro James Harden, somehow taking the latter’s pioneering foul baiting and cheating and putting a personal spin on it to degrade the sport and generally make his games tough watches.
Clint Capela. A key role player with the Houston Rockets that threatened the Dynasty Warriors, but I don’t think he got involved in anything too cheap or annoying.
Lou Williams. Helped out the Harden Rockets in 2018, and annoyed the Warriors in 2019 with LAC.
Onyeka Okongwu was one of my draft targets, and he ended up falling to ATL, and then due to injuries and other reasons I don’t understand, never seemed to get a chance.
Other than being a mini-me version of the Warriors and supporting Trae Young’s assault on the eyeballs of all basketball fans, I’m not sure ATL has made any impression on Dub Nation.
… so, who are you rooting for?
Give me the Sixers, who might have a shot against the Jugger-Nets, and keep Trae off my television until he repents.