There’s just something about the 76ers that allows them to turn one team’s trash into another team’s treasure. Or, as Marc Zumoff likes to say, “Turns garbage… into gold!”. My theory is that something is the expectation of having no expectations; no one cares if you win or lose, in fact losing is preferred, so just go out there and do your thing without feeling like something is on the line.
Justin Anderson is the most recent of their reclamation projects. He had been removed entirely from the rotation of a Mavericks team that was, at that point, garbago beans. I had my doubts (significant ones) that he would ever be even a role-player in the NBA. Teams don’t just bench people for no reason (unless the team is the Bulls and the player is Nikola Mirotic), and the Mavs had a reason: Anderson was sucking. His play in the playoffs the season prior gave people hope that he might not suck, but nope. Total suckage all the way through.
Then he comes to Philly and magically becomes sort of good-ish? That’s stretching it, because Anderson hasn’t been all that much better in actuality. It’s just that perceptions become better when you have a few decent scoring games to show for your efforts, which Anderson has had a few of after the trade. Never mind all his bad games. He has shown that he can, given enough attempts, have a good game once in a while. This is just the latest proof of that: 26 points in the meaningless-est game of Philly’s season, hitting 9 of 10 shots, and providing enough hype to last all the way through the offseason.