With 11 games remaining, the 76ers are looking to avoid repeating history. In order for that to happen, they need one more win. At least one.
The Sixers are 9-62 following a 91-75 loss at Indiana Monday night. There are three games remaining on this road trip. No game can be considered an easy win on their schedule. Every night is a challenge.
In 1972-73, the Sixers finished 9-73. It still remains the worst record in NBA history.
Yes, this current Sixers team has matched the nine wins. Ten would be better. Eleven or 12 would help their confidence.
A cynic could say it doesn’t matter. It does.
This offseason promises to be fruitful with as many as four first-round draft picks, the potential of Dario Saric coming over and Joel Embiid finally healing from two years of foot injuries. Maybe a free agent or two decides he wants to be part of something for the future. There are endless possibilities.
For now, it’s about finding an elusive victory.
“We don’t talk or think about it,” said point guard Ish Smith. “It may sound hard to believe, but we just need to put in good days. If we keep putting in good days, we’ll see results. We don’t always see them in the win-loss column, which can get frustrating. We just have to keep pushing and keep working. The wins will come. We believe in the work that we’re doing and we believe in each other and what the coaches are demanding from us.”
Making matters worse, the Sixers have been besieged with injuries. When you’re already struggling for a win, it’s even harder to accomplish that feat when players such as Jerami Grant and Robert Covington go down with injuries. Jahlil Okafor is currently out for the season while he awaits knee surgery.
“We are going to fight and scrap for everything,” said guard Isaiah Canaan. “We know what the challenges are each night. We will keep coming out fighting and never quitting. You saw that against Washington. They went up big and we never stopped fighting. This team is great like that. We know the issues. We can’t worry about it. We have to keep playing hard and fight to the end.”
There have been few clunkers in this difficult season. It’s a testament to head coach Brett Brown and the staff to have this young group of players playing as hard as they have all season.
“Being here, it has been so impressive seeing how hard the coaches work and how responsive the young players have been,” said veteran forward Elton Brand, who acts as a second head coach on the floor with his experience. “It would be easy to lie down and give up at times. These guys keep coming back. It’s really great to see and I’ll do anything I can to help with the present into the future.”
The immediate future is murky at best. One more win would help immensely. It’s far from guaranteed, though.
Next up is a visit to Denver on Wednesday night. Stay tuned.