The 76ers’ season mercifully came to an end with a 10thstraight loss.
After the Miami Heat played only six players and still ousted the Sixers, the 2014-15 season was over with 18 victories. Last season, the Sixers won 19 games.
The 18 wins were tied for the second-fewest in franchise history.
In 1995-96, the Sixers also went 18-64, ended up with the No. 1 overall pick and selected Allen Iverson.
They could land the top pick again, but there doesn’t appear to be a franchise-changing player to grab.
With the anticipated debut of Joel Embiid, another draft and potential free agent targets, the Sixers should be improved. There are so many question marks that it’s difficult to predict how much better the 2015-16 version of the Sixers will be.
For now, it’s about analyzing the recently-completed season.
Most improved player: Nerlens Noel
Noel could also be considered their Most Valuable Player. After sitting out the previous season with a torn ACL, Noel started slow but had plenty of impressive moments. He became a serious candidate for Rookie of the Year and proved to be versatile on both ends of the court. With another offseason and better talent around him, look for another jump.
Most surprising player: Robert Covington
How did Covington go undrafted? He wound up being a 37 percent shooter from 3-point territory (167-for-446). More than that, Covington scored on a consistent basis, even when the opposition knew what he was going to do. Covington has a real chance of becoming a long-term player with this franchise.
Most stunning decision: Trading Michael Carter-Williams
MCW is competing for the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. He was supposed be the Sixers’ point guard of the future. But the Sixers traded him to the Bucks in a stunning deadline deal, virtually giving up after only a year-and-a-half. The Sixers don’t even know what they’ll get in return since that draft pick won’t likely come until next season. MCW is far from a perfect player but he’s better than any point guard on the Sixers’ roster.
Biggest heart: Jason Richardson
Richardson basically missed two seasons with injuries but somehow returned to average 9.1 points in 19 games. He also was a true team leader in every way imaginable. Watching Richardson come back from a couple of brutal injuries was almost unbelievable. Especially on an 18-win team. He has the heart of a champion.
Right coach for this team: Brett Brown
Brown has won 37 games in two seasons. Yet he has done a remarkable job coaching the Sixers. His upbeat, positive personality resonates to everyone and he knows how to develop players. When the talent gets better, so will Brown’s record. Anyone can see that. Brown is dedicated to every single player on the roster, including the injured ones. He’s all in. “I just try to avoid everything and just go coach the guys,” Brown said. “That’s all I know and that has been going for a while. So you’re going to go out on the court and I’ll take the people that are healthy and then coach ‘em up and try to put them in a position where they can play well.”
Biggest question: Tony Wroten
Wroten was limited to only 30 games because of a knee injury. When healthy, Wroten is a bit of a whirling dervish who can get to the basket. The speedy guard also had a penchant for throwing passes into the 10throw of the stands. Still just 21 years old, Wroten could have a future with the Sixers. It will be a huge summer for Wroten.