Jan 12, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Amile Jefferson (21) reacts to picking up his fifth foul during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at PNC Arena. North Carolina State won 84-76. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Dear Pessimistic Duke Fan,
Welp, Duke lost. The perfect season is over, the Blue Devils have been knocked off the top of the ACC, and that No. 1 ranking will be long gone in a couple days. Considering this, you have every right to be ten scoops into that gallon of vanilla bean ice cream you’ve been shame eating since the final buzzer. And yes, I understand that you haven’t changed out of your sweatpants and you don’t even want to think about the future. Seth Curry appears to be injured, which would just add to the frustration that all the injuries have caused us Duke fans this season.
Well, go put the ice cream away and change into something fancy. Actually, you can stay in sweatpants. I’m wearing those, too. They’re just so comfortable. Okay, go put on a pair of sweatpants that don’t have ice cream stains on them. Thanks, Champ. Now, let’s get down to business.
You should be feeling good about this Duke team. Remember when they beat Kentucky and Minnesota and VCU and FGCU and Ohio State and all those other teams? That was awesome, right? I know! Anyways, as long as this Duke team doesn’t have a dramatic drop-off over the rest of this season, they’ve pretty much locked themselves into, at the very least, a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Good news! See, this is fun.
Now, it is time to take a look back at that NC State loss. No, don’t run! It’s okay.
Duke performed admirably yesterday. They went on the road and went neck-and-neck with one of the best teams in the country with no Ryan Kelly and about half of Seth Curry. Oh yeah, that Marshall Plumlee guy, who would’ve been a big help on the boards yesterday, isn’t exactly 100%, either. Rasheed Sulaimon, our star freshman, played his worst game of the season, too. He shot 0-10 with 0 rebounds and 0 assists. Josh Hairston played 25 minutes. This was all a recipe for disaster, and Duke still hung around right until the final whistle. If you give most teams those limitations, they’re going to get ran out of the building. This is a very good team. They will bounce back, regardless of whatever else the Health Gods throw their way.
Also, Mason Plumlee is starting to look like Mason Plumlee again. If that is the case, he is capable of nearly single-handedly carrying this team on both ends of the court. If that doesn’t excite you, then check your pulse!
Worried about not winning the ACC? Well, it’s a long year. NC State will lose a couple games, Duke will probably lose at least one more, and Duke still gets another shot at the Wolfpack in Cameron. Breathe, have patience, and have faith. Know what Mike Krzyzewski teams are known for when they lose? Getting pissed off, coming back with a chip on their shoulders, and giving hell to whatever unfortunate teams get in their way. Deep breaths. Say it with me: We. Are. Fine.
Oh, and if you need another reason to smile: here.
Have a great day,
An Optimistic (And Realistic) Duke Fan.