As it stands the Sixers have a record of 16-59, good for 29th in the NBA, better than just the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee is currently 14-61 on the season with seven games remaining for both teams. The question remains: who will end the season as the best tanker?
First of all, unfortunately for the Bucks, their GM John Hammond has put them in this predicament trying to build a contending team. Signing O.J. Mayo and signing Larry Sanders to a long-term extension highlight the Bucks’ latest decision-making mistakes.
In regards to the Sixers, everyone expected them to be here at the start of the season, and that was before trading away Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes for no immediate impact player in return. Sam Hinkie has perfectly orchestrated the tank this year by putting together a roster that simply can’t compete with NBA teams while allowing him and head coach Brett Brown to get an up-close look of various young and promising players.
Regardless of how the teams got here, with season’s end drawing near, their remaining schedules are as follows.
Sixers: @ Boston - vs. Brooklyn – @ Toronto – @ Memphis – @ Charlotte – vs. Boston – @ Miami
With the exception of Boston, all of the remaining games for Brett Brown’s squad are against playoff caliber teams, including two-time defending champion Miami Heat. Whether or not their opponents decide to rest their starters or not is irrelevant. Most teams in the Association have better options off the bench than the Sixers’ key players.
Don’t be surprised if the Sixers don’t win another game after man-handliy ng the Detroit Pistons to avoid their record-setting 27th consecutive loss.
My prediction: 1-6 with a win over Boston at Wells Fargo Center in their last home game of the season
Bucks: @ Chicago – vs. Toronto – vs. Indiana – vs. Cleveland – @ Washington – @ Toronto – vs. Atlanta
Milwaukee’s schedule lacks the toughness that the Sixers has down the stretch. Given Indiana’s recent skid, all seven of the Bucks remaining games are winnable. Outside of Cleveland, none of their opponents are slouches, but none exactly strike fear into the hearts of many either.
There is still some talent on the Bucks’ roster. Giannis Antetokounmpo has surprised everyone with his contributions as a rookie, O.J. Mayo can still drop 25 points on any given night, and Brandon Knight can even have a big game here and there. With all of that said, any of the remaining seven games is winnable if the Bucks get hot.
My prediction: 2-5 with wins over Cleveland and Atlanta
To the much of my own chagrin, my predictions have the Bucks still finishing behind the Sixers, meaning they would win the tanking battle. Still, it will undoubtedly come down to the wire.
Hold on to your seat belts, ladies and gentleman.
In all seriousness though, which team do you think will earn the honor of worst team in the NBA?
Tags: Philadelphia 76ers