Could the Sixers be the worst team ever? Plus the Celtics 2016 Draft Update
There's lots of debate on whether or not Sam Hinkie's team-building philosophy will eventually pay dividends, but no matter what side of the argument you find yourself on one fact is indisputable: the Sixers are a bad basketball team. They've been bad since Hinkie started picking the players with which to tank, posting a 37-142 mark in the last two plus seasons. But with 19 wins two years ago and 18 wins last year, this team actually might not have bottomed out just yet. This year, they could be in the running for worst team of all-time.
You have to go back to 1972-1973 to find the most defeated team, another Philadelphia 76ers outfit, who would become known as the 9-73ers. Yikes. Basically what happened was that the Sixers got absolutely fleeced in the Wilt Chamberlain deal in 1968 (one player enlisted in the military and never even played for Philly) and things got pretty dark a few years later. Dr. Jack Ramsey left after the 1971-1972 edition posted 30 wins, their leading scorer defected to the ABA, and the players that remained would go on to become the only team in league history fail to reach double digit wins in an 82-game season. That team would start 0-15 and was standing at a seemingly impossible 4-58 after dropping 20 in a row that February.
Fast forward to 2015 and another Sixers squad could give the 9-73ers a run for their money. After losing in the final minutes to the Timberwolves last night, this year's edition sunk to 0-15. Going back to last year, the Sixers have dropped 25 straight, one shy of the league record. No team has ever started a season worse than the 2009-2010 Nets' mark of 0-18 (last year's Sixers started 0-17). With games against the Celtics, Rockets, and Grizzlies coming up, the Sixers could find themselves 0-18 with only a listless Lakers team standing in the way of the worst start in NBA history. Fun times in Philly.
At least they'll have a 25% chance of landing Mr. Ben Simmons though.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, there's also a 75% chance that they don't get the first pick.
Here's a look at where the Celtics stand with the picks they got from other people for the 2016 NBA Draft:
THE PICK: BROOKLYN FIRST ROUNDER (UNPROTECTED)
If the draft were today this would be the number 4 pick.
The week ahead: Wed @ OKC; Sat @Cle; Sun vs. Det
The Celtics split a home and home with the Nets over the weekend and it left Celtics fans with a cold, empty feeling inside. Right now BK is tied with the Pelicans at 3-11 and one game better than the 2-11 Lakers. Make no mistake this is a three man race to the bottom between the Nets, Lakers, and Sixers with the Sixers as the odds on favorite to be the absolute worst. No team with Anthony Davis is going to be bottom three in the league. Despite Brooklyn being in a tie with the Pellies, the odds from Tankathon are at 42.3% for a top three pick and 13.7% for the number 1 pick. Not awful. Danny Ainge even decided to make the trip to the (irony alert) Barclays Center to watch Simmons put up some numbers in person last night.
Celtics executives Danny Ainge and Mike Zarren are here to watch Ben Simmons. Boston owns Brooklyn's unprotected... https://t.co/qi7btEHXSS
If the draft were today this would be the number 25 pick.
The week ahead: Tues @ Mem; Wed @Spurs; Sat vs Den; Mon @ Sac
The Mavs aren't going to be among the seven worst teams in the league. Carlisle is too good of a coach and Dirk is still getting it done with a 50-50-90 season on the table somehow. But they also aren't going to be the three seed in the West...right? Look for OKC to pass them soon, but beyond the Thunder the entire Western Conference is in disarray with no other team better than .500. I guess what I'm saying is: root against Dallas without reservation.
THE PICK: MINNESOTA FIRST ROUNDER (PROTECTED 1-12)
If the draft were today this selection would be conveyed to the Celtics as one of two second round picks. The first rounder would be protected and Minnesota would have the number 11 pick.
The week ahead: Wed vs. Atl; Fri @ Sac; Sun @ LAC
A steady dose of Rubio has the Wolves playing better and they were an overtime loss at Orlando on the second leg of a back-to-back away from turning in a 3-1 week. The current standings have a worst case scenario look to them for the Celtics, who would miss out on a late lottery pick by one game. On the bright side, there's 68 games for that result to shake out differently. This week's trip to California has them with a winnable game in Sacramento and a who-knows-what game with the wacky Clippers. As always: Let's go Wolves.
THE PICK: PHILADELPHIA SECOND ROUNDER (UNPROTECTED)
If the draft were today this would be the number 31 pick.
The week ahead: Wed @ Bos; Fri @ Hou; Sun @ Mem
The Celtics haven't been great about helping their own draft pick stash out with losses to Dallas and BK in the last week. Wednesday they host the Sixers, who hopefully will just keep Sixer-ing and allow the Celtics to buck that trend. One NBA scout's take on Philly is definitely not a compliment:
Last night I asked a scout to describe the 76ers: "Two big men who don't really fit together and the rest is a D-league roster."