Yet, the powerful Pistons woke up and won the next three games, closing the 76ers out in six. It was obvious the team lacked the half court offense needed to go deep into the playoffs.
The Sixers were expected to be one of the beasts in the East for the 2008-09 season. However, it has not worked out that way so far. Brand's half court, non-running style of play, and the rest of the teams up-and-down style of play, have not meshed. The team got off to a slow start and Cheeks was fired. He was replaced by interim head coach Tony DiLeo, long time front office guy with the team.
Although DiLeo got off to a 3-0 start with the Sixers, they have struggled since and have fallen to even harder times at 12-18. Brand is currently out with an injury and the team has just dropped four in a row. Without question, they are underachieving and without question you expect better things from them in 2009. Will it happen though? Who knows.
In the second round, they squared off against the top seeded Canadiens. Amazingly, they won that series in five games, behind the brilliant goal tending of Martin Biron and play of R.J. Umberger.
At the same time, the Mets began their usual down fall. Could it be? Could those Metropolitans from the North collapse again?
But, it was not good enough. They needed to go farther this year. They needed to not have an early exit like in 2007. Could they end the drought? Was this the team? Is this our year?
The Phillies went 11-3 in the post-season, defeating the Brewers 3-1 in the NLDS, the Dodgers 4-1 in the NLCS and the Rays 4-1 in the World Series.
Highlights of the post-season included a Shane Victorino grand slam off of C.C. Sabathia in Game 2 of the LDS, a Matt Stairs launching of a home run in Game 4 of the NLCS, a Joe Blanton home run in Game 4 of the World Series, an incredible defensive play by Chase Utley in Game 5 of the World Series and Brad Lidge striking out pinch hitter Eric Hinske to close out the World Series and go a perfect 48 for 48 in save opportunities.
All of this culminated in a joyous parade down Broad Street two days later, 25 years in the making.
"World Champions...World FUCKIN' Champions!"