There used to be a time in the NBA when two of the huge powerhouse franchises were the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. If you are of a certain age, you may remember when these teams competed against each other in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the days of Julius Erving and Larry Bird seem forever ago and even the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett era might as well be decades ago at this point based on how badly these teams have played this year.
Boston and Philadelphia are playing terrible basketball and these forces of mediocrity faced each other Friday night. At the beginning of the season, it looked like Boston might somehow hang in there and stay on the fringes of contention, however they are just too young and inexperienced for that to happen. This would absolutely have to be considered a building year for the Celtics. A total of 23 wins to date will tend to not get you anywhere near the playoffs.
However, they have looked better than the 76ers who currently have 16 wins and 59 losses. They also had a ridiculous losing streak of 26 games in a row. Yes, 26 games — at least two months without a win. No matter how you look at it, that is putrid.
It has been whispered that both teams are tanking in order to have a better opportunity for the draft lottery. There are some great players on the horizon. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid could make very significant impacts on whatever franchises are lucky enough to get them.
I don’t think either team is tanking. However snagging one of those future stars sure would make this season hurt less.