It might be a bit embarrassing to see a team celebrating a rare win like they’ve won a playoff game or something like that, but the 123-98 victory over the even more pathetic Detroit Pistons meant that the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t set a new losing record, led by an excellent game from Michael Carter-Williams.
Possibly the rookie of the year, despite the losing streak he was involved in, Carter-Williams finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds as the 76ers got the best of a broken shell that used to be the Detroit Pistons. A team that has given up on the season, and with no playoffs or losing streak to fear, they’ve simply stopped playing anything that resembled committed basketball, shooting 38.8% from the field and providing a defense that bad college teams would be embarrassed of. It’s not lack of talent, but simply a group of guys who don’t seem to be too passionate about playing anymore together this season.
The 76ers have formed a bond through this losing streak. Brett Brown talked about this being a building experience for quite some time. They are now marked in history, sharing the record with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for longest losing streak. However, they’ve managed to break the cycle, and stay away from that 27th loss, winning for the first time in just over two months. Brown kept talking about trying to take little things and little wins along the way. Finally, there’s an actual win to take things away from.
The Sixers looked like an All-Star team, especially in the second half. There was no interior pass to stop anything thrown into the paint, which led to some very impressive assists from Tony Wroten, who came off the bench to score 6 points, adding six rebounds and 9 assists. Thaddeus Young also had 21 points and Hollis Thompson couldn’t miss from beyond the arc, connecting on all four attempts.
It’s not something I want to be a part of so it’s great that we got this win. There was some emotion. Of course we were happy to win again, it’s a great thing to be on the winning side.
The Sixers keep saying that this is a long term plan. Three to five years, and they’re not being judged for their results right now. So is this only for judging and evaluating players? Are season ticket holders supposed to acknowledge and accept that a team is simply giving up on doing anything positive for two consecutive years, unless they accidentally play too well, like the Raptors and the Suns this year?
The Detroit Pistons are a different story. This team has been on the path to make the playoffs for a few years, and adding Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings into the mix should have been enough, joining a decent backup backcourt, a solid frontcourt and generally a team that on paper looked stacked with individual talent. Only it doesn’t work without coaches who know what to do with their players, or know how to limit them.
The 76ers were expected to be this bad, which makes seeing them finally win a happy occasion for most people. Maybe there’s hope somewhere down the line, but only if you’re a really optimistic person. Right now, the best there is happens to be celebrating a win once every couple of months.