Reviewing the 2015-16 Sixers season can be defined in a number of ways, mostly in one word answers.
Maddening. Frustrating. Disastrous. Ugly.
Not a whole lot went right in this lost season for the Sixers, who finished 10-72 and narrowly avoided tying the 1972-73 Sixers who are remembered for winning only nine games.
Philadelphia started 1-30 and it never really improved much from there. The biggest changes took place in the front office with the resignation of Sam Hinkie and the influence of Jerry and Bryan Colangelo. More changes will certainly be on the way.
After the last three seasons produced a mere 47 wins, it’s time to make changes. Both Colangelos have said as much.
“I’m pleased with what really seems to represent our season,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said after the home finale, an overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. “To get down 18 with a team that’s got 10 wins and still find enough motivation to throw punches and put ourselves in a position to get back in it here to end our season, I feel like it’s very representative of who we are and what we’ve seen the whole year.”
In the end, it was yet another loss with a group that’s not set up to win right now.
This offseason will be absolutely huge and it all starts on May 17 at the Draft Lottery in New York. Ping pong balls haven’t been too kind to the Sixers as they’ve finished in the No. 3 slot each of the past two years.
The Sixers will have 250 ping pong balls out of 1,000 and they are in place to finish no worse than No. 4 overall. After a 10-win season, that would seem cruel.
Regardless, they’ll have a top four pick and two additional first round picks as well.
Philadelphia will also choose No. 24 after a number of tiebreakers determined that the Miami Heat will be there. In August of 2014, the Sixers traded for the rights to the Heat’s first round selection in ’16.
Thanks to another trade, the Sixers will also pick at No. 26 after a deal to earn the Oklahoma City Thunder’s spot in this draft.
Joel Embiid, a potential cornerstone for this franchise, is expected back after a two-year absence with injuries. Dario Saric will hopefully come back overseas and join them. Jahlil Okafor should return from a knee injury and improve in his second season. Maybe a free agent or two will decide to mix in and be part of a future success.
Nerlens Noel showed glimpses of his ability and will be so much better with the likes of Embiid, Saric and Okafor surrounding him.
“It’s been a testament to these guys being able to bounce back and fight through it all season,” Noel said. “It’s been a tough season but we’ve continued to fight. I expect that to continue.”
With a much improved roster, the fans will see that fight turned into more victories.
Don’t look back. This team can only go forward. It starts now.