Oct 14, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young (21) during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. The Nets defeated the Sixers 127-97. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Pain of Tanking

Well, I hate to use this time old quote but, “they are who we thought they were!”

All this summer, the discussion has been about tanking and the pursuit of players like Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. It seems all dandy when those names are thrown around, but have we realized how difficult this season will be?

I mean a 110-84 loss to the Bobcats is about as depressing as it gets. Yes, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes sat out the game, but still. Watching that game was extremely hard. The Sixers managed to make Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (South Jersey stand up) look like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. The Sixers literally had no one that could score, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a roster so devoid of talent. Tony Wroten was the leading scorer yesterday with 20 points, on 5-14 shooting and 1-6 from deep. Someone still has to tell me why Tony Wroten is taking six three’s, the tank must really be in effect.

When I think about Andrew Wiggins, everything seems good. Watching the last two preseason games where the Sixers lost by a combined 56 points and failed to score over 100 points while the opponent had no problem doing that made me realize a lot. This season might be the most difficult season in Sixers history. Seriously, can you guys imagine what the Miami Heat are going to do to us on opening night? I don’t think any of us have realized how difficult going through a 60+ loss season is going to be.

The worst thing is that the front office has developed a roster that is just incapable of winning. I can assure you, these players don’t want to tank, they want to win as many games as possible. That’s maybe the most depressing thing about all of this. The front office literally dropped a nuclear bomb on this roster so the players wouldn’t be able to win any games. There’s no talent, no chemistry, no nothing. No player wants to lose, but these players can’t win. The chips are stacked against them, they will be over matched every night, it’s just sad.

There will be loses on top of loses, some of the longest losing streaks in history, and not many winning streaks. There’s literally nothing to be happy about this season until Nerlens Noel returns (if he does). We just have visions of the future and how bright it can be. Many of the players on this roster won’t be here after this season. Almost every season since the Iguodala era has ended, this team has put a completely different roster on the court every season. I’ve seen this team go through some tough times with the likes of Eddie Jordan and Mo Cheeks, but I can’t imagine what this season will be like. Well, I can. A lot of losing and not much winning. I literally have no idea how they are even going to get 100 people in the Wells Fargo Center for a game if the Sixers aren’t playing the Heat or Lakers.

I was at opening night last year vs the Nuggets with Iguodala’s return to Philadelphia. The fans had optimism, we were excited, even if Bynum was decomposing on the bench, we still had hope. Spencer Hawes came out and dominated and the Sixers routed a very competent Denver Nuggets team. It’s funny to look at how different this year’s opening night contest vs the Miami Heat will be compared to last years vs the Denver Nuggets. Last year we still had hope, hell, I had visions of this team being in the Eastern Conference Finals. This year? We literally have nothing to have hope for, except the hope that the lottery balls fall in our favor.

The worst thing about this whole season, is that we have no idea if it will be worth it or not. Sure, dreams of Andrew Wiggins makes me giggle like a school girl, but what if it does not work out? As we all know, the NBA Draft works on a lottery system which means just because you tank away the season, does not mean the team gets rewarded. Even if the Sixers wind up being the worst team in the league, they still only have a 25 percent chance to land the first pick.

Plus, for every LeBron James there is an equal amount of Kwame Brown’s and Darko Milicic’s out there. I love Evan Turner, but what if we wind up with another Evan Turner? What if these draft picks don’t work out? Honestly, no matter how good this class is PROJECTED to be, there still has to be some players picked in the lottery that will just be busts. Look at LeBron’s draft class despite all the star power. There was still T.J. Ford, Kirk Hinrich, Michael Sweetney (who?) and Jarvis Hayes (WHO!?) drafted in the top ten. If we fall in a scenario where that happens, how far back will that put this franchise?

If this whole tanking idea does not work out, imagine how far it will put this franchise back. Sam Hinkie’s plan has already put us back probably about five years. If something doesn’t work, could it put us back another ten years? Could we be destined to be the next Bobcats; a cupcake team for the visible future?

I understand what the front office is doing. I’m glad we aren’t settling for mediocrity like we have the past few years. I don’t enjoy fighting for the 8th seed in a visibly weak Eastern Conference, it’s not fun. It’s just tough to deal with when I look at the uncertainty of it. Look how long the Bobcats have been bad when they are in the lottery every season, I don’t want us to be like them.

I’m just thinking here people. I’m not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but this could all be a reality. We are going to go through one of the toughest seasons in team history and leave it all up to the randomness of ping pong balls. Sure, if we get a top 3 pick, it will all be worth it. If we get the top pick, it will almost surely be worth it.

But what if we don’t?

Follow me on Twitter: @Dcorrigan50

Tags: 76ers Andre Iguodala Evan Turner NBA Draft Nerlens Noel Philadelphia 76ers Sam Hinkie Sixers Spencer Hawes Thaddeus Young

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