The Sixers have just five games remaining in 2014, starting with the Raptors Wednesday night. Credit: Getty Images
Even when a team is out of contention, when it comes to professional sports, every game is chance for athletes to perform and to get noticed.
Up until a week ago, the 76ers were being noticed for all the wrong reasons. They ended their record-setting losing streak at 26 games, just shy of setting a new mark (tying the 2010-11 Cavaliers).
The team could very reasonably be in the midst of a three-game winning streak after dominating the Pistons last weekend, and just barely losing to the Celtics and Nets by four points-apiece in two hard fought contests.
“I think it just kind clicked for us, offensively,” Thaddeus Young said after Saturday’s respectable 105-101 loss to Brooklyn. “And, then, defensively, we started getting into them a little bit, forcing a few turnovers and bad shots where we could get out on the break and get some easy transition buckets.”
The Sixers fly north of the border to take on the Atlantic Division leading Raptors Wednesday at 7 p.m., winners of their last three and currently tied for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan is having his best statistical season ever, leading the Raptors with 22.8 points per game and setting a course for the squad to contend for a trip to the Eastern Conference finals alongside the Pacers and Heat.
The Sixers can play spoilers with a win Wednesday, as the Raptors are locked in a fight to keep the No. 3 seed, looking to fend off the Chicago Bulls who hold the same 45-32 record Toronto does.