Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Worst in history?

Posted by Eric Fisher On February 26

The 76ers might not win a game the rest of the season. Seriously.

The Sixers were bad before they traded Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen at last week’s trade deadline. Without that trio, which included their leading scorer (Turner) and leading rebounder (Hawes), they are awful.

Actually, they’re beyond awful.

The Sixers have lost 12 straight games. Nine of those losses have been by double digits, including back-to-back losses to the Clippers and Warriors by a combined 88 points. All three losses since the trade have been by double digits.

The Sixers did not win a game in February. If they go 0-for-March, they will set the NBA record for most consecutive defeats.

It’s not impossible.

Not counting injured center Nerlens Noel, there are only two NBA-quality starters on the roster: rookie point guard Michael-Carter Williams and Thaddeus Young. And Young is arguably better coming off the bench as a sixth man. The bench would not be out of place in the NBA Development League.

This week the Sixers have been blown out by 20 points by the Bucks, who own the NBA’s worst record, and lost to the Magic, who ended a 16-game road losing streak with a 101-90 triumph over the Sixers on Wednesday. The Magic had the third-worst record in the NBA.

But this is what we wanted, right?

Well, it’s not what I wanted.

I understand the desire for more ping pong balls in the NBA draft lottery. I understand the way the NBA’s system makes it difficult to become an elite team without hitting rock bottom.

But I want the Sixers to remain competitive. I want them to have a chance to win.

They had a chance to win against the Magic. They were tied after three quarters, 67-67. And then they lost by 11 to a team that hadn’t won a road game since December.

They weren’t nearly as competitive against the Bucks. Milwaukee entered the game averaging 92.6 points per game. The Bucks had 106 points by the end of the third quarter.

It’s bad enough when the Clippers put on a clinic, as they did during a 45-point victory over the Sixers the week before the All-Star break. But when the NBA-worst Bucks are producing circus dunks, it’s downright embarrassing.

The Sixers aren’t good enough to beat most teams remaining on their schedule. Looking at March, the Sixers have no shot next Tuesday at Oklahoma City. They play the Pacers twice in three games in the middle of the month. Road games against the Spurs and Rockets also fall into the no-shot-in-hell category.

No game, not even home games against the Jazz and Kings, should be counted as likely wins. If the Bucks aren’t a victory at home, no team belongs in that category. Assuming the Sixers don’t win this weekend against the Wizards and Magic (Sunday in Orlando), their best opportunities to win should be against the Jazz (March 8) and Kings (March 12).

If they lose those games, the Sixers’ losing streak will stand at 18 games, within two of the franchise record set by the 1972-73 Sixers, who posted the worst record in a full 82-game season (9-73) in NBA history. The NBA record is 26, set by the Cavaliers during the 2010-11 season.

The ensuing six games include home-and-home matchups with the Pacers and Bulls and home games against the Grizzlies and Knicks. If they don’t win during that stretch, the Sixers’ losing streak would standing at 24, with road games against the Spurs and Rockets likely resulting in the Sixers tying the dubious record for consecutive defeats.

The potential record-breaker would come Sat., March 29 against the Pistons, who have owned the Sixers this season with the solid inside game.

The fact that we’re even discussing the possibility that the Sixers could break the record for consecutive losses tells you how bad this team has become.

This is what many of us feared we would see when the season started. But rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams was better than almost anyone expected, Hawes got off to a tremendous start and Turner was regularly scoring 20 points per night.

The Sixers’ surprising start caused people to wonder if they would ruin their chances in the draft lottery by winning too many games.

Never fear.

MCW’s productivity decreased as he seemed to hit the rookie wall. Turner was inconsistent. And the lack of an NBA-quality bench caught up with them. General manager Sam Hinkie took care of the rest at last Thursday’s trade deadline.

But all losses aren’t created equal. It’s one thing to lose games in which you’re competitive. It’s another matter to step on the court every night with almost no chance to win.

That may get you more ping pong balls, but it doesn’t help MCW’s growth. At worst, players could develop bad habits while routinely trailing by double digits.

The Sixers were bad last season. They’ve subtracted Jrue Holiday, Turner, Hawes and Allen from that roster with barely anything, beside Noel and future draft choices, to show in return.

Draft choices can be helpful in the future. But they don’t help you win games now.

Don’t be fooled by the records. The Sixers are the worst team in the NBA right now.

With another month of losses, the Sixers of the second half of this season might be in the recordbooks as, arguably, the worst team in NBA history.

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