WATCH: Sixers Lose on Seriously Ridiculous Buzzer Beater
The Sixers have nine wins. If they didn’t win another game this season, they would equal the record for worst 82-game season in NBA history, currently held by the 1972-’73 Sixers: 9-73.
But — even with rookie Jahlil Okafor out for the year and Nerlens Noel out last night — they played pretty well against the Denver Nuggets. They led by 11 after the first quarter. They got blown out in the second and trailed at halftime, but rallied in the second half and were in a back-and-forth game in the fourth quarter. Considering the Sixers have just three wins on the road this season, it was an impressive performance against a 30-win team.
Since it was such a rare event, some friends and I were actually texting about the Sixers — something that used to be a regular occurrence with the team, but hasn’t been the case since GM Sam Hinkie decided to make the team intentionally awful in order to stockpile draft picks. We were actually talking about the Delaware 87ers’ Russ Smith setting a D-League record with 65 points (in a loss), but one of my friends added at the end: “Sixers are about to win I think!”
I think. There were three seconds left, and the Sixers had the ball up a point. Seemed pretty likely. But then Robert Covington hit just 1 of 2 free throws, and the Nuggets had a chance to inbound the ball.
As you can see in the video above, the Sixers did not win. Emmanuel Mudiay caught the inbounds pass, dribbled toward midcourt, lost control of the ball, then recovered for an off-balance heave from near half court at the buzzer. Of course it went in. Of course it was off in time. That Mudiay was a player the Sixers passed on to select Okafor made it even more fitting. (In the run-up to the draft, Philly Mag’s Derek Bodner pointed out Mudiay’s significant shooting shortcomings.)
The Sixers are now 9-63, with just 10 games remaining. They have beaten the Brooklyn Nets twice since January 27th and are winless against the other 28 NBA teams during that stretch. Their best shot for a win in the remaining weeks is likely an April 5th home date against the depleted New Orleans Pelicans.
Or maybe they’ll lose their remaining 10 and tie the ’72-’73 team for the worst record in an 82-game season and continue to be bad until they finally get a star in the draft or move to Newark or whatever. Hey, you can always watch Villanova!
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