Immediately after last nights catastrophic 123-78 loss to the Clippers I went to bed and slept on what I had just watched. Today I sat through three college classes still wondering how the hell the Sixers were down by 56 at one point in last nights game. I have come up with nothing to take from this game besides one simple point: The Sixers are just really bad.
Watching the game and looking at the some of the stats at the conclusion of the game, such as the score being 46-15 at the end of the first or the Sixers shooting 15% in the first half, it's ridiculous to believe that this same Sixers team has managed to win 15 games this season. That includes wins against the Heat, Wizards, Bulls, Trailblazers, and Rockets. Going into this season, last night is basically what we expected to happen most nights and that's held true for the most part. The Sixers have had other really bad losses this year by 31, 34, and 37.
This is why last night should not have come off as such as surprise. Yes it was a historically bad and embarrassing loss for the Sixers. But really what were the Sixers supposed to do last night when the Clippers could not miss a shot to open the game. We know how defensively challenged the Sixers are and on nights when they can not put anything in the hoop this is bound to happen.
All I'm trying to say is last night should not be viewed as something we need to look deeper into. This kind of loss can cause people to start worrying if there's a losing culture that's being instilled in the team. It was just another loss, no different of a loss than their 37 point loss to New Orleans in November or their 6 point loss to Brooklyn last week or any other loss this season. This kind of losing is expected and is part of the Sixer's rebuilding plan. This season a loss just means more ping pong balls, which is a vital part of the overall rebuilding plan. General Manager Sam Hinkie constructed this team not to contend but rather to set themselves up for a top pick in a very strong draft. The reality of the situation is that there is really only two players on this entire roster that are considered as core franchise players(MCW and Noel) and one of them isn't even playing. So the concerns of creating a losing culture are not in play here.
Also in a loss like this people will question the coach and wonder if he has lost the locker room. That is not true at all in this case and it showed last night. First of all, anyone saying that the Sixers weren't trying at all or didn't care about the game is wrong. The effort was there the whole time, it just goes back to what I said in the beginning and that is the fact that they are just a really bad team. Some nights (most nights), you can't rely on Lavoy Allen long 2's(Doug Collins disagrees) and Evan Turner using the same moves off the dribble that he uses every game that never work.
Secondly, there was one positive that held true throughout the entire blowout loss: Brett Brown never stopped coaching. You could really see the amount of pride Brett Brown has as a coach and it was evident last night in one scenario late in the fourth quarter.
With 1:23 left in the game the Clippers were ahead 121-76 after a Sasha Vujacic 3-pointer( which made the crowd go nuts because who doesn't love Sasha Vujacic blowout 3-pointers). Following this 3-pointer, Michael Carter-Williams came up court, dribbled around a screen, and launched/bricked a 3-pointer just 9 seconds into the shot clock. This sparked Brett Brown to get up off the bench and bark at Carter-Williams to "keep attacking! keep attacking!". On the next Sixer possession, Carter-Williams made a nice backdoor cut to the basket and connected on a reverse lay-up off of a pass from Tony Wroten. Yes Carter-Williams had a rough night, as did all the Sixers, and looked frustrated all night, which caused a lot of bad shots. But Brett Brown's message still hit home with Carter-Williams with a minute left in a blowout game. The fact that Brown was still coaching and teaching in that situation is a very important sign from a coach you are looking to rebuild with.
So we move on from last night and onto tonight in Golden State against an even more explosive Warriors offense. I expect this game to be closer.
And by closer I mean the Sixers will lose by about 25.
Tank on boys.