My beloved Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers, under the coaching tutelage of local hero Maurice Cheeks, have returned to the playoffs after a two-year absence. It wasn’t easy; they started the season with an ugly 5-13 record, but turned it around late to slip into the seventh seed in the tepid Eastern Conference. Their efforts earned them a series with the Detroit Pistons, a perennial power who finished with the league’s second-best record. Pistons center Rasheed Wallace has played in more playoff games than all 15 members of the 76ers roster combined.
But this afternoon, the plucky Sixers came back from a 15-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Pistons in their first game. That’s why they play the games. In their honor, here is my favorite video of Mo Cheeks, back from when he was coaching Portland a few years ago: chokes me up every time I watch it.