How to Root for the Tanking Sixers — and Their 2015 Draft Picks

Sixers

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer; Photo credits, from left: Nerlens Noel (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports), Franklin (David Dow, NBA Photos ), Brett Brown (Jason Getz, USA Today Sports) and Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports).

With just one second on the clock, Utah’s Gordon Hayward got a good look. He caught the inbounds pass from the other baseline, took a dribble and fired a deep three …

It clanked off the back of the rim, though the referee was waving it off anyway.

And just like that, Sixers fans could exhale. The Lakers had won.

Wait. What?

Yes, as strange as it sounds, Sixers fans were cheering for the Lakers in last Wednesday night’s matchup with the Utah Jazz. And odd as it will feel, they’ll be cheering for them for the rest of the season. Regardless of how one feels about Sam Hinkie’s controversial plan for rebuilding the moribund 76ers, we can all agree on one thing: He’s to blame for the fact that Sixers fans will have to root for the purple and gold from here on out.

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The Sixers Are Good at Math. The Phillies Aren’t.

sixers phillies
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.

The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.

ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.

The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
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WATCH: New Sixer Isaiah Canaan Hits Amazing Shot

Isaiah Canaan was acquired from the Rockets last Thursday at the NBA trade deadline, and he’s already the team’s starting point guard. The 2013 second-round draft pick scored in double figures both games he’s played for the Sixers.

Late in the first half against the Miami Heat last night, Canaan fired up a prayer with the shot clock running down and banked it in. Originally ruled a three, it was a two-point bucket that put the Sixers down a point heading into halftime. Read more »

Report: Man Who Plays Sixers’ New Mascot Hated on the Sixers on Twitter

David Dow | NBA Photos

David Dow | NBA Photos

Earlier this month, as the Sixers’ season continued its spiral into the abyss of record-setting defeats, ahem, strategic tanking, the team revealed its new mascot, Franklin, seen here surrounded by a bunch of smiley school kids. But it turns out that the man believed to be inside the suit is no fan of the team he has been hired to promote — or at least he wasn’t a few years ago. Read more »

Now the Sixers Have No Heat

So it’s come to this:

“It’s 14 degrees in Philadelphia … and the heater has broken inside the Wells Fargo Center — so the visiting Indiana Pacers are warming up in full sweats and winter gear,” TMZ reports. “Unclear when the heater crapped out … but multiple team sources tell us the same thing — ‘It’s f**king freezing in here.'”

Well, hey. After the Sixers traded Michael Carter-Williams on Thursday, we knew they were due for a cold streak.

Reports: Sixers Trade MCW, McDaniels on NBA Trade Deadline Day

Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) is defended by Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) is defended by Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers, 12-41 and out of contention for the foreseeable future, were not expected to be a major player before the NBA Draft deadline today. What little we knew.

In a pair of deals just before the deadline, the Sixers appear to have shipped out starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams, last season’s rookie of the year, and promising first-year small forward K.J. McDaniels. Both reports come from NBA trade guru Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. McDaniels is headed to the Rockets, while Carter-Williams  will be with the Bucks. Read more »

Sixers Tease New Uniforms for Next Season

sixers-tease-new-uniforms-940x540

It’s not just a youth movement where only one player who has logged minutes this year was born before 1988. It’s not just a new in-arena presentation. It’s not just a new mascot, Franklin the dog. The Sixers’ rebuild will soon also include new uniforms.

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Sixers Finally Introduce New Mascot, Franklin the Dog

An Action News cameraman films Tim McDermott, chief marketing and innovation officer for the Sixers, and new mascot Franklin as they prepare for a TV interview (Photo: Dan McQuade)

An Action News cameraman films Tim McDermott, chief marketing and innovation officer for the Sixers, and new mascot Franklin as they prepare for a TV interview (Photo | Dan McQuade)

It looked like he was going to miss.

Franklin, the new Sixers mascot, had shown off his dance moves, and now he was preparing for his big moment. The Sixers’ Flight Squad, a team of dunkers/cheerleaders for the team, had already dunked on a hoop set up in the Franklin Institute. Now it was Franklin’s turn. He grabbed a ball, sprinted toward the basket and bounced off a trampoline.

And he almost missed. He seemed to hang in the air forever. Fortunately, Franklin was able to stretch and put the ball into the net with a last gasp effort, avoiding a complete embarrassment. He was more successful on a second dunk attempt, though he kind of collided with the rim.

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WATCH: Sixers’ K.J. McDaniels Throws Down Off-the-Backboard Dunk

The Sixers kept it close last night, but ultimately fell, 89-84, to the Golden State Warriors. This is no shame. The Warriors are the best team in the NBA, 41-9 after last night’s win, and averaging almost 101 points a game.

But the highlight of the game came in the first quarter, when Sixers rookie K.J. McDaniels tossed a pass off the backboard to himself and threw down a one-handed jab. This is quite possibly the dunk of the year.

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Sixers Win By 20 (!) For Ninth Victory

sixers

They said it couldn’t be done. In December, one sports book moved the over/under on the Sixers to 9.5. But it is only the end of January, and the Sixers now have nine wins on their own. They will, at worst, tie the 9-73 Sixers for futility in an 82-game season, and that’s only if they lose their final 36 games. That’s probably not going to happen. This Sixers season will not be the most embarrassing NBA season ever, record-wise.

The Sixers jumped out to a 24-4 lead on the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center and didn’t really have to look back. They held the Pistons to just 69 points — including just 32 in the second half.

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