One Game Does Not Change the Direction of the 76ers


You know, it’s hard to open up word press after a 53-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks write about it. It’s hard after arguing all night on Twitter and defending a team that may not even win 10 games this season. However, this is necessary. I’m here to explain that one game, no matter how embarrassing and crushing, does not change the future outlook of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sure, it was a god awful game and one that no one should have finished. However, let’s not act like everyone wasn’t praising the 76ers last week for being “competitive” and having “heart” while suffering from a lack of talent. One bad game occurs and the floodgates open and everyone voices their opinion on the 76ers and “The Plan,” which it is now dubbed. It’s maddening that the Sixers were trending worldwide after a loss to a great team and that people asked some of the most ludicrous questions and statements ever.

“Will Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel be affected by this constant losing?”

Where is the veteran leadership on the 76ers?”

The 76ers aren’t getting real reps by playing with non-NBA level teammates.”

“I haven’t watched a 76ers game this season, didn’t see them battle the Bulls and almost win, but I have an opinion after a 53-point loss.”

First of all, losing is not some type of terminal disease that can’t be cured. A lot of this I blame on the people that come into basketball as strictly numbers/analytics people, but don’t have actual experience playing a sport for an extended period of time or any knowledge in sports psychology. At the end of the day, basketball is still basketball. The game is dribbling a ball and putting it through the hoop.  Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel are not being permanently affected by losing a lot of games. These two aren’t idiots, they understand the plan and the vision. When JaKarr Samspon is replaced, Luc Mbah a Moute becomes Dario Saric and Henry Sims turns into Joel Embiid, I guarantee that Michael Carter-Williams is not thinking about one game in the midst of an 82-game season from 2014-15.

The vision has been obvious from the beginning. It’s easy to be on board when the offseason is occurring and losing isn’t happening, but it’s another monster when you have to watch your favorite team lose by massive deficits every night.

Not to mention, I love the notion that the only way players can respond from losing is to become life-long losers. Let’s not pretend like the majority of players in the NFL and NBA are built off of players that prospered from “losing” situations in terms of growing up in a bad environment or in poverty. Losing does not becoming permanent. Instead of assuming that, why can’t we believe that this losing will fuel the pieces on this team to become great when the real pieces all come together? It’s ridiculouss that people only see one side of this

Second of all, veteran leadership can jump off a bridge for all I care. Signing Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks, Chris Kaman, [insert veteran name] for $7 to $11 million per year wouldn’t have done anything for the 76ers except made them lose by 20 last night instead of 40. The 76ers have a damn coaching staff for a reason, a very good one at that. Sure, veteran leadership is nice, but not necessary. If the coaching staff is doing the correct job and has the locker room, then it shouldn’t be this big of a deal. However, people reach for ridiculous things all the time so I’m not surprised.

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This term “real reps” is completely ridiculous, also. So, because the 76ers are playing with some players who may not belong in the NBA, players like MCW and Nerlens Noel are not getting real reps? First, I’d love to know what the hell a real rep is. This is the NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION. Every time someone steps on the floor it’s a damn rep. The notion that MCW and company aren’t learning from all of this and working through the growing pains is insane. This is a badly constructed team for a reason. The 76ers were not going to be competitive every night and games like last night will happen. Is it embarrassing? Sure. Will it happen again? Probably. Is it a cause for concern? Not at all.

This is the plan people and if one game causes you to freak out about it, I question your loyalty to the team. The vision has been obvious from the beginning. It’s easy to be on board when the offseason is occurring and losing isn’t happening, but it’s another monster when you have to watch your favorite team lose by massive deficits every night.

The last thing is the people that love to comment on a situation by looking at a box score. These people have not watched the 76ers all season and have not seen this team fight tooth and nail on multiple occasions this season, but fall short because of a lack of talent and other reasons. These people are the reasons for articles like this, because they have no idea what they are talking about. It’s so easy to have an outside perspective when you don’t watch a team and just look at the box score of one game. You didn’t watch this team fight back from 10+ point deficits to the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls, only to wind up losing. However, I’ll bet these people were praising K.J. McDaniels and the 76ers when he was on SportsCenter night after night, right?

In the end, one blowout loss doesn’t change the direction of the 76ers. Its one game out of 82 and less than one percent of the total season. The national media and a bunch of idiots on Twitter will have an opinion, but these will be the same people praising the 76ers when all the pieces come together and the plan is starting to grow. Guys, this is going to be a rough season, no one should be surprised by this. Last night was an example of how rough it can get at times. If you want to give up hope, fine, go ahead. I’m not giving up on this team after one game when I see the future, and the future is bright.

Next: The 76ers and the 5 Stages of Grief