For a while, I've been repeatedly saying, writing and tweeting some variation of the phrase "tonight might be the Sixers' last chance to win a game this season." This night is the night I make the firm claim that the Philadelphia 76ers will not win another game this season.
14 of the team's final 18 games come against current playoff teams, with the other four come against a mediocre, yet clearly superior New York Knicks team, a Detroit Pistons team that has Andre Drummond attack the rim so hard you should hide your kids and hide your wife and two matchups against the tanking, yet still better than the Sixers, Boston Celtics.
0-18. 36-game losing streak. This is a thing. It will become reality.
Tonight made this concept seem like a fact. After the Sixers put up a strong fight in the first half, holding on to just a 4-point deficit at after the first two frames, the 23-42 Kings strolled out of the visiting locker room in the Wells Fargo Center and beat the home team by 10 points in the third quarter. Sac-Town rolled to a 17-point victory and led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter.
But at the same time, there is a silver lining. No, not Henry Sims' career-best performance of 20 and 10 and 2 blocks, although that was a positive takeaway from the evening.
It's no secret now that the Sixers and Kings were in trade discussions centered around Thaddeus Young and the No. 11 Pick for DeMarcus Cousins and the No. 7 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Multiple sources have confirmed that trade rumor to Liberty Ballers and one has even said that the proposed deal was centered around Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and No. 11 for DeMarcus Cousins and No. 7. On draft night, when this information fell into my lap, I was ecstatic about the idea of bringing Cousins to Philly. But looking back on that night and flashing forward to tonight, it's clear that turning Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 pick in the 2013 draft into Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans 2014 first-round lottery pick was by far the better outcome and the Sixers future is oh so bright.
Now they'll likely not win another game this season, and have the best odds at the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, plus that trade chip in Thaddeus Young and a plethora of second-round picks. We have no reason to believe in anything but Sam Hinkie pulling the trigger on the right deal this June as well.
That's a pretty damn silver lining to 18 more losses.
Next up, Evan Turner, Andrew Bynum and Lavoy Allen's return to the Wells Fargo Center.