Random thoughts … and stats

PHILADELPHIA — Clear but cool today in the birthplace of the nation. Nothing in the way of rain or snow in the forecast. Nothing to make a body shudder, in other words…. Anyway, here are a couple of things to chew on in the wake of Tuesday’s 118-117 loss to Indiana:

Our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau have determined that the Lakers’ one-point loss was their first game decided by less than seven points this season. They also figured out the Lakers are the first team since the 2001-02 Dallas Mavericks to begin a season with 15 consecutive games decided by at least seven points.

No word on whether they expect the Lakers to revert to form and win by a lopsided margin when they face the 76ers tonight. Philadelphia played the Bulls last night in Chicago and won in overtime, and should be just as fatigued as the Lakers.

Whenever people talk about New York as the cradle of basketball, I always side with Los Angeles (UCLA, the Lakers and Westchester High trump CCNY, the Knicks and Christ the King, in my opinion). In fact, as a former resident of Philadelphia I might even go with Philly ahead of New York for several reasons (Sorry, Lamar Odom).

I mention this because I got an e-mail today from a PR dude touting a story about the soon to be demolished Spectrum, which the 76ers used to call home. I saw my first NBA game there as a kid (Wilt and the 76ers beat Russell and the Celtics). Not a bad start, eh? The Spectrum was a throwback to an earlier time in the NBA, when crowds could create a buzz that’s sadly missing in the big new buildings like the Wachovia Center.

Or Staples Center, for that matter.

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