Before Tuesday night’s 13-point win, I asked Brett Brown about the Eagles questions he was receiving during the Super Bowl run.
Sure, he could always answer generically with a “rah rah, go Birds, we’re really excited” type of response. But I was interested in whether or not Brown saw any kind of tangible effect from the Eagles’ playoff run on his team – maybe a higher energy level or boost in motivation or something along those lines:
“Yes I do (see it). I think that we all.. you ‘feel’ the city. We want that. We want to have a playoff game here. I’ve said to the team, both my parents are school teachers, my mom was a third grade teacher for 27 years and my dad was a high school teacher for 18 or 19. When they would always talk about the students and how the kids were raised, they’d talk about this thing that was actually called the ‘Pygmalion Effect,’ that people who knew what they wanted and were raised in a high level of expectation and accountability often times received it more than other kids. We wanna play in the playoffs, and here we are with five games at home. To be able to look across the street and see what the Eagles did and the way they did it, it’s an amazing story. They lost Carson and they found a way as a staff, organization, and team, to move on and get it done. So when you feel the city and watch that team and live here, you recognize the stories of perseverance, and you recognize that here we are, too, right across the street. We want to share that.”
It’s a cool concept, the idea that the Eagles’ success provides an influence or benchmark of sorts by which to judge our other local teams.
And if that’s the case, then the Pygmalion Effect certainly manifested itself last night at the Wells Fargo Center, with the Sixers shooting 55.6% in a 115 point effort against a team that had won five straight games, four without all-star point guard John Wall.
Philly was 14-28 from three point range for a smooth 50% downtown clip. Joel Embiid led the team with 27 and 12 while Ben Simmons added 15, 6, 8, and 3 steals. Dario Saric was his steady self on a 20-point night, JJ Redick was 4-5 from distance and Robert Covington looked a little bit better on the offensive end.
They didn’t rebound the ball particularly well, nor did they protect it. The Sixers committed 17 turnovers, 10 of which were split between Simmons and Covington, who were sloppy with their passing. Washington grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
But as is the case on most nights, the Sixers were good enough in other areas to plaster over their deficiency of the evening, and hot shooting led to a double digit win over a really good team.
When Amir Johnson drains a three pointer and Jerryd Bayless finishes an alley oop dunk in the first quarter, you just have a feeling it’s going to be your night.