Sure, the Sixers are pretty terrible, but just how bad are they? Well, for one thing they just lost by 20 points to the team with the worst record in the league, so that’s a good start. They’ve had back-to-back games where they’ve let their opponent shoot over 57% from the field. And their winning streak has stretched to 11 games, the longest since 2009. This is pretty much the lowest the Sixers could get, but I have a feeling it’s going to somehow get even worse.
With reports that the Sixers will likely buyout Danny Granger, there will be very little offensive talent on their roster. Minus Michael Carter-Williams and Thad Young, their offense is practically nonexistent. And somehow their offense is astronomically better than their defense, which has given up 100 points in 51 of the 57 games this season, including 130+ four different times. And in 2/6 of the games where they held their opponent to under 100, they still lost.
Their offense is actually ranked 16th in PPG, averaging just over 100 points a game, but this will slowly decrease with the loss of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, who combined averaged 30.4 PPG. Their shooting percentage is 26th in the league at a measly 43.5%, and they’re last in the league in 3-point percentage at 31.1%. Oh yeah, and they’re not much better at free throws; they’re 28th in that too at just 71.5%. They also turn the ball over the most, averaging a whole turnover and a half more than the second worst team at 17.1 per game.
So maybe their offense isn’t actually 16th overall based on the individual stats, but don’t worry, their defense is even worse. Naturally they give up the most points per game, a whopping 111 per outing. This is the team that had the 9th best defense in terms of opposing PPG last year, giving up only 96.5. What happened? Going back to this year, they give up the highest FG percentage at 46.8%, and they’re tied for 23rd in 3-point percentage against. They have the highest margin between PPG scored and PPG allowed at -10.6 per game. That means in their average game, they lose by double digits. Wow. To put it into perspective, only one other team has a margin of worse than -6 this year (Milwaukee Bucks, -8.8). That’s a worse margin than the 12-70 New Jersey Nets from 2009-2010, whose margin was just -9.1. That’s just terrible.
Since their four game winning streak at the beginning of 2014, their record is 3-21. They’re 1-2 against the league-worst Bucks, and their only win against them was in OT. The Sixers are 1-1 against the Magic, who they have next on their schedule and are the third worst team in the league. Their one win against them was also in OT. And somehow, the Sixers have wins this year against the Heat, the Rockets, and the Trail Blazers, all top 6 teams in the league. How did they manage to do this? Beats me.
In the Sixers’ last seven games, which of course were all losses, they average losing by 24 points. Yes, a differential of -24. The 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats, the worst team in NBA history, once had a seven game losing streak where their differential was -21.8 and another that was -19.1, but still not to the level of the Sixers. The fact that the Sixers are in the middle of a streak that was worse than any streak by worst team in NBA history is scary…
The Sixers have had two pitiful games since trading away two of their best players for a hopeful future, and I don’t expect for it to get much better. Since I only want Young, Carter-Williams, and Wroten to stay with the team next year (of the people that are healthy), I would be fine with the rest of the games going the way they are. The Sixers as a team may be historically bad, but those three guys have been performing as a wonderful trio and could be dangerous as part of a top 6 group next year. The rest of the guys could leave or stay and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. It’s too bad they can’t have just six guys on their roster for next year.
Since the Sixers have a lot of expiring contracts this year, they will have the chance to have a total overhaul and start new again. According to a mock draft on Bleacher Report, the Sixers would draft Kansas SF Andrew Wiggins and Kentucky SG James Young. Just for the heck of it, let’s assume they take both of those players and keep the three aforementioned players. This would be their lineup:
PG: Michael Carter-Williams
SG: James Young
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Thad Young
C: Nerlens Noel
6th Man: Tony Wroten
That’s a scary young and good group of guys. And they’d have enough cap room to sign basically whoever they’d want as veteran free agents to be reserves which is great about getting rid of Turner and Hawes. They also have three 2nd round picks that they could use to get more rookies, bringing their roster to 9. It may be painful to watch the rest of this season, but next year has the opportunity to be awesome.