Last night, the Philadelphia 76ers were hosting the Memphis Grizzlies and the 104-90 home loss meant that they recorded a record-breaking poor start to the season, losing 29 of their first 30 games. To put things in perspective, if they keep playing at this level, they will win anywhere between 2 and 3 games by the end of the season.
The 76ers managed to stick around during the first half of the game, losing only by 7 at halftime. Unfortunately for them, the insane amount of turnovers was just too much and in the end, they folded for another loss on the season. When you have 26 turnovers against a team as efficient as the Grizzlies, there is only that much you can hope for. The Grizzlies played like the veteran team they are, with all of their players scoring, five of whom scored in the double figures.
The historically poor start to the season has once again raised the question of what exactly the 76ers are doing and whether it makes any sense in the NBA of today. Sure, everyone knows about the plan that the Sixers’ general manager Sam Hinkie introduced some time ago, pretty much advertising a tanking strategy that would hopefully give his team the draft picks necessary to nab a star on which to rebuild their franchise.
With the changes that were made to the draft process recently, their tanking strategy lost much of its appeal and if we are being perfectly honest, they only have themselves to blame since it was their incessant tanking that inspired the league to take a long, hard look at their practices.
With the hiring of Jerry Colangelo as the Chairman of Basketball Operations, the Sixers are clearly showing that they might be giving up on the absoluteness of their plan. You do not hire someone like Colangelo if you are not ready to do something this very moment. With rumors of upcoming trades spreading like wildfire, it seems that the Sixers truly are trying to change something and let both their players and their coach win.
These hints that the Sixers are changing the way they will approach the game in times to come does not mean they have given up on their approach completely, but it is definitely a step in the “right” direction. We are saying the right direction because of the players, young men whose only experience in the league was getting pummeled because of a system. Something like this can devastate such young players.