In the National Tanking Association, shit went down before the Sixers even took the court in Sleep Train Arena against the Kings in Sacramento, Thursday evening. The Brooklyn Nets improbably defeated the Thunder in Oklahoma City, The Cavs won sans-Bynum, the Knicks upset the Spurs in San Antonio and Utah beat Milwaukee.
A loss in Sacramento would have left the Sixers tied for the 29th in the NBA standings with the Orlando Magic at 10-22 on the season. Instead, the Sixers triumphant victory over the Kings now has the boys from the Wells Fargo Center 11-21 on the year and currently slotted for the eighth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
You read that correctly, kids.
However, the Sixers’ position in the NBA standings has more to do with the pitifulness of the Eastern Conference than the Sixers’ newfound road success. Believe it or not, but the Sixers’ three-game winning streak has them tied with Dallas for the third-longest streak in the entire League. If that’s not pathetic, what is?
This all boils down to one simple thing: with Brett Brown’s free-flowing offense and Michael Carter-Williams in the lineup, the Sixers can score the ball and are entertaining to watch. When the leading Rookie of the Year candidate is on the floor, the Sixers are 10-11 this season. Fourth grade math reveals that leaves Brown’s club with just a 1-10 when the rook is wearing street clothes.
And frankly, with Thaddeus Young literally playing at an All-Star level since Liberty Ballers reported his trade request—he’s scored 25+ points in five of the last six games—this Sixers team playing this style should beat teams like the Lakers without Kobe, a dilapidated Nuggets team and Boogie Cousins' mediocre Kings.
The road ahead also gets tougher. After the Sixers travel to Portland to finish off this road extravaganza on Saturday, the team will return to face Minnesota and then face nine teams in their last 13 games in January that are currently slated for a playoff berth. Also in that mix is a game at Cleveland, the Knicks twice and a trip to Chicago.
Enjoy these last three-straight wins. You might not see consecutive victories for a long time.
Oh, there’s also just over a month and a half until the February 20th trade deadline.
Relax. Stay on #TeamChill.