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Wizards-Sixers Preview: Remembering Mediocrity

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The Sixers and Wizards will play in all likelihood an upsetting game of basketball tonight, but the Sixers will be looking in the mirror and seeing a reflection of themselves five years ago.

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Mediocrity is a dreadful place to be in the NBA. For the teams not good enough to be a legitimate playoff contender yet not bad enough to be in contention for a top three pick in the NBA Draft, life can be maddening as Sixers fans surely know all too well. It is not that long ago the Sixers were pinning their hopes on the likes of Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, and the once thinkpiece inspiring Arnett Moultrie.

The Sixers frequently made the playoffs as a 7-8 seed or missed out entirely. And in years where they did qualify for the playoffs the Sixers usually crashed out in 4-6 games in the first round. The one exception in the post-Iverson era, 2012, saw the Sixers get by thanks to a litany of injuries to key Bulls players before bowing out to the aging* Boston Celtics in a dramatic 7-game series.

*Admittedly, said Celtics in the following round went another seven games with the future NBA Champions that year, the Miami Heat.

However you may feel about Sam Hinkie, Josh Harris, Jerry Colangelo, and the process, being a team that's as mediocre as the post-Iverson Sixers were sucks. There's no promise, and no hope.

Which brings us to the Wizards. The Wizards 2015-16 has been nightmarish beyond belief. The Wizards came into this season expecting to be a mid-tier playoff team but instead they currently find themselves three back of the eight seed, 13 games ahead of a bottom three record, and have gone 5-5 in their last ten games and are on a quick path to nowhere. The Wizards are 18th in defensive efficiency, 19th in offensive efficiency, and despite being 5th in the league in cap room they're owned by Ted Leonsis so good luck doing anything intelligent there.

Watching John Wall will give Sixers fans dark recollections of the 2010 NBA Draft and Evan Turner, though the Sixers themselves have well and truly moved on. Wall's a nice player at a great age as is Bradley Beal, but Nenê is 33, Marcin Gortat is 32, and Kelly Oubre is spending heaps of time on the bench and being ineffective on the court when he's off it.

Following a fun January, game results have been less than kind to the Sixers in February with only one win in their nine games this month and dating back to January the Sixers are one for their last 11. Of course depending on who you are now is either a time to sit back and relax while watching the cards fall where they may or stress-eat during a Lakers-Nets game. I suggest going with the former as the latter really does not seem like a healthy option on multiple fronts, but what do I know I'm just a guy who periodically blogs about the Sixers.

For the Wizards perspective on everything, check out Bullets Forever.