Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia 76ers will not be denied.
In the midst of a major losing streak and already in possession of the NBA's worst per game differential, the Sixers were very, very bad heading into the NBA trade deadline. Apparently, they weren't bad enough.
So, general manager Sam Hinkie swapped out Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen for multiple second-round picks and a handful of players who couldn't possible help Philly win basketball games this season.
Depleted, reeling and focused firmly on securing the league's worst record, the Sixers faced the ultimate test on Monday: Could they be worse than the cellar-dwelling Milwaukee Bucks?
Could they ever.
Philadelphia suffered a 130-110 defeat at home and in the process secured their position as the very worst team in the NBA. Milwaukee hit 57.1 percent of its shots from the field, scored 60 points in the paint and drilled 12 of 20 triples. Feasting on the Sixers' breakneck pace and lack of defense (a recipe for tanking if I've ever heard one), the Bucks completely annihilated their opponents.
In the second quarter alone, Milwaukee outscored Philadelphia by a margin of 43-16. By halftime, this one was completely over.
Per ESPN Stats and Information: "The Bucks lead the 76ers 73-44 at halftime, the most points the Bucks have scored in a half since Nov. 14, 2009."
Maybe it's worth mentioning that O.J. Mayo hit seven threes, while poor Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 28 points. Michael Carter-Williams, the only 76ers player with a positive plus-minus figure (plus-six), scored 20 points.
But individual stats don't really mean anything in a contest like this. Calling it a glorified pickup game is an insult to recreational basketball everywhere.
The Sixers now trail Milwaukee by a mere three-and-a-half games for the league's worst record. The takeaway: There's a new front-runner in the NBA's race to the bottom. Philadelphia is on a mission.