Friday, November 21, 2014

The Sixers

K.J. McDaniels' mom thinks they are tanking:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/k-j--mcdaniels--mom-doesn-t-seem-thrilled-with-76ers--rebuilding-plan-183710204.html

Look - ordinarily most teams are unwilling to intentionally go 5-77.  There is some element of pride, and there is some lost revenue in the idea that you will be so bad that your fans will simply stop coming and you will draw 3,000 a game when you could draw, say, 10,000 with a 20-62 club.  I have really never seen anything like what Philly is doing.  They are starting guys whose names I do not recognize.  They are playing multiple guys who are undrafted free agents. 

The worst team I ever saw was the early 1990s Dallas Mavericks (maybe 1992?  I won't look it up) - a team that played Walter Bond (who never started for the Gophers) as its starting off guard.  Radislaw Curcic anyone?  Walter Palmer?  Mike Iuzzulino? Randy White?  Doug Smith?

But the Mavs at least had drafted Jimmy Jackson, who was a contract holdout.  They also had drafted White and Smith as high first-round picks.  They weren't affirmatively TRYING to be shitty.  They just had three high first rounders who were contributing next to nothing. 

The Sixers - frankly, I have no idea what they are doing.  They are effectively red-shirting their picks (Noel, Embiid).  Basketball is not football.  In football, you can get bigger and stronger and faster by working out for a year.  In basketball, it is a skill game, you need to play the game to improve.  Constantly drafting injured players delays their development for probably one extra year, making you worse for longer.

The Sixers were also willing to move Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for nothing (Alexei Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute) when they could have asked for Anthony Bennett.   That was the case of dumping a veteran player for no good reason.  (Consistent with the Wolves' luck, however, Young's mom has died and the rumor is that he is so grief stricken that he may not play all season......or until his mortgage holder advises him that he needs to).

Maybe this is just a case of company pride -- I mean, the Sixers' famous 9-73 season from 1972 held up as the worst ever for around 40 years, but then the 2011-12 Bobcats defeated the Sixers, both in fewer wins and lower win percentage (7-59).  Maybe there is a desire in Philly to not only reclaim the title, but put it so far out of reach that no one will ever challenge it again?  I mean, those awful Mavs teams won 11 games and then 15 games.  The Timberwolves have trotted out terrible teams with coaches like Jimmy Rodgers and Kurt Rambis - never won fewer than 15 games.  Any team that has a few NBA level players should win 11 games if they play hard.  Bill Musselman won 51 games in 2 years with the best CBA players he could find.  I kid you not, that was his personnel philosophy.  Won 22 and then 29 games.

But this Sixers team?  They would lose to Kentucky 4 games to 2 in a 7 games series.  Kentucky has way, way more talent.  If you asked Calipari to pick 12 guys from the two rosters, he would pick 8 of his guys and 4 Sixers. 

Barring a trade or some wild miracle where a veteran decides at year end he wants to play for Philly, I predict 5-77 for the Sixers.

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