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Sixers-Pacers Game Thread: Sixers, Sixers, Help Us God...

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Eleven days stand between the Sixers and infamy

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2015-2016 NBA REGULAR SEASON
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April 2, 2016
The Arena At Which The Sixers Play Basketball
7:30 p.m.
CSN Philly/Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby, and Molly Sullivan
PROBABLE STARTERS
George Hill PG Ish Smith
Monta Ellis SG Isaiah Canaan
Paul George SF Hollis Thompson
Myles Turner PF Jerami Grant
Ian Mahinmi C Carl Landry

INJURIES
Nerlens Noel (knee contusion) – OUT
Richaun Holmes (Achilles strain) – OUT
Rodney Stuckey (wrist sprain) – OUT

It feels like forever ago that Ish Smith and a choppy Skype feed of Jerry Colangelo lifted the Sixers from the doldrums of suckitude to the comfortable plateau of mediocrity. After opening the year with a 1-30 record, the team got a shot in the arm from Smith after trading for the veteran point guard on Christmas Eve. The Sixers rattled off six wins over their next 15 games, causing some of us to ponder aloud whether the team had become too good to successfully carry out the remainder of its (hopefully) final year of tanking. Those of us who had that thought, myself included, are feeling pretty stupid now.

Fast forward three months, and the team's won just two games in 30 tries, including each of their last 11. At 9-67, the Sixers have just six games left (including tonight) to notch another win and avoid tying the 1972-73 squad as the team with the most losses in a single NBA season, 73. I don't particularly care whether or not they reach double-figure wins this year, but I guess I'd prefer to spare myself from the hot takes that will surely fill my timeline should they fail to hit that mark. Also, as the team becomes more aggressive in free agency, that's a distinction the organization would certainly be better off avoiding.

It won't be easy, though. Against the Pacers, the Sixers will yet again be without Nerlens Noel, who is dealing with a right knee contusion that's caused him to miss the team's last five games. Richaun Holmes will also be out with a right Achilles strain, and a banged-up Jerami Grant will be restricted to 25 minutes. When the Sixers and Pacers last faced one another, on March 21, Indiana held Philadelphia to 75 points, coasting to a 16-point home victory.