Will the Sixers Go 0-36 to End the Season?
Aw, weren’t things so nice in early November? There was no snow on the ground — and the Sixers were 3-0!
Of course, since starting 3-0 the Sixers have lost 46 games with only 12 wins. They’re 15-46, second-worst in the league, and haven’t won a game in February. Since trading three players on deadline day they’ve been even worse. At the Iverson jersey retirement game the Washington Wizards — a top 10 team in defensive efficiency — were very clearly not even bothering to try on defense, and they won by 19.
The Sixers haven’t won since the now-departed Evan Turner beat the buzzer against the Celtics on January 29. There is a real chance they will lose out the rest of the season.
Bill Simmons did a one-question mailbag on the Tankadelphia 76ers yesterday, and it’s quite entertaining:
Believe me, if you’re throwing away your season, you want Byron Mullens involved. Even with the Clips pushing to dump Mullens to open up a roster spot, Philly still traded a second-round pick to get him. He ended up fetching one fewer second-round pick than Spencer Hawes did! Has there ever been a better self-sabotage move?
He also posted this video of Mullens airballing a three five seconds into a possession.
But what are the Sixers’ chances of ending the season on a historic 0-36 run? (The record is 26, incidentally; they’re 11 losses away.) NBA stats whiz Kevin Pelton crunched the numbers at ESPN Insider. Though it’s behind a paywall, I’ll excerpt the important part:
That raises the sobering possibility that the Sixers might in fact lose out. My method indicates Philadelphia’s “true” talent level right now is about an eight-win team over a full 82-game schedule. Simulations using that rating show the 76ers ending the season on a 36-game losing streak more than 8 percent of the time. Philadelphia wins just once more in 21.6 percent of simulations and averages 2.3 wins the rest of the way, making the Sixers the favorite to finish with the league’s worst record.
An 8 percent chance! Pelton also notes that the Sixers’ winless February was one of the worst months in NBA history. Isn’t this season fun?
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