The Philadelphia 76ers fell to the Orlando Magic on Sunday night by a score of 92-81. The loss moves the Sixers to 15-45 on the 2013-14 NBA season. On a more pressing note, though, the loss is the 76ers 14th consecutive defeat with the Sixers not having a win to their name since Jan. 29.
The intention of the 76ers coming into this season was abundantly clear: they were tanking. There have been countless jokes made at the team’s expense and their performance has often reflected their intentions. However, nothing they’ve done has reflected what they planned to do this season more than the moves that they made at the Feb. 20 Trade Deadline.
Before the 3 p.m. deadline, the 76ers dealt Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for inconsequential role players and draft picks and also sent Evan Turner to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for picks and Danny Granger, who the organization has since waived. The Sixers put themselves below the salary cap floor with their moves and made it clear that their run down the home stretch was going to be geared around giving young players opportunities and playing poorly enough to ensure a quality draft pick in the lottery.
Looking at how they’ve played recently, it’s quite possible that the Sixers could not win another game this season. There are 22 games remaining on their schedule and they could theoretically finish having lost their final 36 games. It seems implausible and that they might luck into at least one win along the way, but with how atrocious they have been defensively and how unreliable their offense has been, it’s a legitimate possibility.
Like I said, there’s a chance this team could grab a win over the next month and a half and I would say that’s the more likely possibility. However, this team is set up intentionally to fail down the stretch in the interest of building for their future and they are set up well in that regard. The main point is that the Sixers going winless from here on out isn’t he most plausible scenario, but it’s a distinct possibility.