Big Trouble in Little Sixers: Hello Tanking My Old Friend

Bro, chill. - USA TODAY Sports

About to be 5 games under .500.

Losing to a team like the Phoenix Suns can make a guy irrational. On one hand, we're all at least a little guilty of overreacting to one loss on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. On the other, it's the Suns. COME ON.

Already 6 games into an 8 game roadie where they've gone 2-4, the Sixers' next few days won't be any easier. Friday/Saturday is a back-to-back on the road against Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Part of me wants Collins to pull a Popovich and bench all his starters against San Antonio, but then I realize nobody cares anyway, so Stern's Wrath would be ignored.

In all likelihood, they're going to be 15-20 after Saturday. They've gone 5-14 since starting 10-6. They're in a sucking match with the Boston Celtics to see who can be less terrible. To the victor goes the 8th seed spoils and a matchup with the Miami Heat. It's wayyyyyyy too early to be scoreboard watching, but when the games make your eyes bleed, you have to watch something.

The conversation becomes: do we want them to make the playoffs this year? I've contended since the Bynum trade that wins and losses were less important than the development of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner and their chemistry with the big guy. But that was assuming Bynum would be healthy and they would at least be hovering around the 4-seed in the East. Now that that isn't the case, what's best for the future of the franchise?

Keep in mind that if the Sixers miss the playoffs, they hold onto their first round pick they surrendered to Miami in the Arnett Moultrie trade. And if they suck badly enough, they could trade Spencer Hawes to some unsuspecting sap at the deadline. I bet that perked your nipples.

The big variable for me is obviously The Big Variable (new nickname alert). If you can tell me he plays 20 games and will be there for the playoffs, I want them to make it. If he's not playing, I want them to keep the pick. ESPECIALLY because if he's not playing, that likely means he won't be in Philadelphia next season and they could use a high draft pick coming in, even though 2013 is a reportedly weak class.

I'd love to see the Sixers With Bynum going up against Miami or New York or Chicago in the first round. But if The Big Variable isn't playing..... TANKTANKTANKTANKTANKTANKTANKTANK.

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