The Sixers First Win in November in History
Okay not in history. But in recent history. Or at least the history that has happened between November 22nd, 2013 (their last win) and November 11th, 2016 (their first win this season).
It’s tempting to put those two dates into one of those online date calculators and list the total number of days to give some sense of scale to the distance we’ve traveled over the last three process-driven years. But numbers only tell part of the story, and an abstract part at that.
To really put it into perspective, think about how different the world is today than it was in 2013. In 2013 Barack Obama was President we couldn’t imagine a world where Donald Trump had the nuclear codes short of some new Die Hard movie where the premise is that Donald Trump somehow steals the nuclear codes in order to pay a massive multi-billion dollar debt to a Russian Oligarch, a crime it seems like he’s going to get away with until he hijacks a cruise ship carrying a newly remarried and finally settled down John McClane, who not only stops him but uses the phrase ‘you’re fired’ in some well-timed, thoroughly tongue-in-cheek, take-down way. Back in 2013 Michael Douglas and CZJ were still married, the Higgs Boson was still undiscovered, Mante Te’o was still in love with a fake woman, and a freshman named Joel Embiid was averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.6 blocks in 23.1 minutes per game at the University of Kansas. Today, that same Joel Embiid is carrying an NBA team to its first win in November since 2013. And just think of all the things that have changed since then!
One thing that hasn’t changed much is Embiid’s stratospheric ceiling. If anything, it’s gone from the stratosphere to the mesosphere, or whatever ‘sphere’ is highest, thanks to another ‘holy shit who is this guy’ performance. In the Sixers first November win in the second half of the decade, Embiid had 25 points, 7 boards, 2 assists and 2 blocks. His from the field percentages weren’t as high as the rest of the season, but he was 12–14 from the line. And he did this.
Which is to say that Embiid was essential for the Sixers to clock their first November win since 2013, a thing that happened that may not have been mentioned yet. Obviously, it wasn’t a one-man win. Ilyasova had 14 points shooting 3–5 beyond the arc and hitting a crucial momentum-swinging four point play, Stauskas continued the Stauskassance (which can’t last but how cool would it be if it did?), Holmes grabbed 12 boards in just 24 minutes, Covington brought solid D despite being unable to hit a shot and Henderson played semi-savvy, totally Henderson-y ball. But without Embiid it’s hard to imagine the Sixers fighting their way back from a double-digit deficit in the second quarter.
It was Embiid who hit the go-ahead three. It was ‘We Want Embiid’ that the crowd chanted with two minutes left in OT. It was Embiid who got the and-one over Lavoy Allen that put the Sixers up once and for all. And it was Embiid that made us all watch the game in the first place. Not because we thought they’d win, but because we wanted to get another glimpse of the best guy we’ve had since long before 2013.