A dark day in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers, a once proud franchise that is now the most pathetic in the NBA. They were beaten 123-70 by the Dallas Mavericks, as the Sam Hinkie rebuilding project continues to look more like an embarrassment and how to tear apart a basketball team than a way to win this team a championship in the next few years.
How bad was it? The Mavericks could have scored 0 points in the second half and still they would have won after going to the locker room with a 73-29 lead. The 53-point win is the biggest in the history of the franchise, and “only” the 3rd worst loss in the history of the 76ers, who might have themselves more awful days like these.
All in the name of tanking, which too many people think isn’t a problem. Someone took a basketball team that wasn’t bad at all – almost a playoff team, and decided he wants more. The only way to do it in his opinion was getting rid of every valuable piece on the team and start from scratch, basing his plan on the hope that he’ll get enough talent from the draft and generate enough cap space to add talent through free agency.
So far? The 76ers are win-less at 0-8, and have loss 40 of their last 44 games dating back to last season. They have only three players on the roster selected in the first round of the NBA draft, the fewest of any team. They also have more undrafted players (seven) than anyone else, building a team that is supposed to do as bad as possible in order to become a contender in the future.
So how bad is this team, really? They’re off to an 0-8 start. The only other time the Sixers lost so many games from the start of the season, they ended up going 9-73, still the worst record in NBA history from the 1972-1973 season. But that team was possibly better, losing the eight games by an average margin of 9.2 points. This bunch? They’ve been outscored by a combined 143 points, obviously skewed by the Mavs’ huge win.
Only the Golden State Warriors in 1997-98 and the Miami Heat of 1988-89 had a worse start. Both teams finished with less than 20 wins that season.
One long piece of garbage time began at the end of the first quarter. Dirk Nowitki scored 21 points to lead his team, followed by Monta Ellis with 17. Despite winning and winning big, the story wasn’t the victors. It was seeing a new low for a program that can be labeled only as pathetic, sad and miserable.