Philadelphia 76ers Tie Franchise-Long Losing Streak with Tough Opponents Ahead

Jim CavanContributor IMarch 15, 2014

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown, right, yells for a timeout to referee Brent Barnaky during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, March 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. Indiana won 101-94. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Somewhere, Semih Erden and Christian Eyenga are smiling just a little wider.

The Memphis Grizzlies torched the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night, 103-77, extending Philly’s consecutive-loss streak to a franchise record-tying 20, per the NBA Guru Twitter account:

But as indicated by this tweet from ESPN Stats & Info, it’s the way in which the Sixers are losing that has many wondering whether we might be witnessing one of the worst teams in NBA history:

With seven more losses (the games cited in the first tweet above), the Sixers will set the league record for most consecutive losses in a single season.

It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that Philly head coach Brett Brown has declared that a win—any win—would, at this point, be an upset. According to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia's Dei Lynam:

It’s a sad state of affairs indeed for the Sixers. Until you remember they’re sitting on a whole war chest of 2014 draft picks—one first-rounder and four second-rounders, to be exact

If they have any hope of staving off infamy, the Sixers might have to wait until March 29, when they take on the Detroit Pistons in Philadelphia. Should they lose every game between now and then, they’ll tie Cleveland’s mark of 26.

It seems impossible to think it was these same Sixers (well, minus about nine different players) that upended the Miami Heat on opening night behind a near-quadruple-double from rookie Michael Carter-Williams (22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and nine steals—nine).

Whether you want to call it tanking or something more diplomatic—“strategic long-term growth initiative,” perhaps—Philly looks like it knows exactly what it’s doing. But if the Sixers can achieve their high-lottery hopes without rewriting the meaning of NBA infamy, they should, like, try and stuff.

Novel concept, we know.