Yeah baby!!! Bloguin's numero uno self-proclaimed Guido, Ricky of Sixers4Guidos.com, was kind enough to give us some of his time to answer our last minute queries about tonight's opponent and his favorite team. Funny thing is that we can commiserate with Ricky, who is extremely unhappy with his team and management over how they have handled the season; and I thought no one could show or feel more disdain than the non-Gullible Knicks fans.
But perhaps tonight we can feel a little bit better than Ricky because for the first time in five years, we can actually win our series against the 76ers who had previously been running us into the ground. Last year the Sixers won all four contests. This season, so far we lead the series 2-1 and this game could clinch the tie breaker in case several teams disappear and we are left battling for playoff positioning. Otherwise, the honor has little meaning, unlike Ricky's comments, which give us a wholly different perspective on east coast misery. Check it out.
How would you rate your team’s performance relative to your expectations this season?
RICKY: SUCKING. I predicted 43 Ws before the season started (playoffs + a nice match-up in the first round) and I expected at least to have some fun with a good offense, high-scoring games, our young guys improving etc, etc. Stats tell that the Sixers got significantly worse offensively and our defense fell from average to atrocious.
Everything has been disappointing this year, many of our young players didn't improve much (Speights, to a lesser extent Williams) or even regressed (Thad Young, also Iguodala). The only bright spot was the emerging of rookie Jrue Holiday, who showed he has the talent to be a very good player in this League for a long, long time.
What are the two or three major issues which must be addressed in the off-season in order to substantially improve the team next year?
RICKY: 1) get an actual coach;
2) get a very good shooter at SG (maybe through the draft);
3) decide what to do with Iguodala and Young. You have basically two players at the same position (SF), one of which is signed at 13 mill for the next 4 years;
4) try to find a suitor for Brand (...)
Who would you prefer to coach the Sixers next year, why and do you think the change will happen?
RICKY: My choices would be Byron Scott, Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, in this order. I have no clue what will happen but what is 100% sure is that this coach won't return next year, and the GM who hired him is not safe as well, obviously.
Your season was full of drama. If it were a television show, what would it be called and how would Allen Iverson's cameo be portrayed in the show?
RICKY: I don't know about what show. I don't watch your shows from here. What is sure is that the whole Iverson drama is sad. I am a big fan of Iverson and just because I like him so much I didn't want his return. I hoped that some very good team (=not this year's Sixers) would sign him to give him a final shot to a well deserved title. It happened the opposite. I won't comment on his personal issues as nobody knows exactly what's happening, and I don't like speculations. I only wish him the best, I will always remain a fan of Iverson.
Who do you expect to win and lose the NBA Championship this year and why?
RICKY: I am rooting for everyone-but-Lakers-and-Celtics but I'm afraid the Lakers are still the best team. On paper I see Orlando as the best team in the East, assuming everyone is healthy, but Cleveland will probably get to the finals.