When a team is in the process of a “tank,” can you blame the coach at all? For the most part, you would think not. The team’s objective is to be horrible so that they have an opportunity to turn their franchise around with a top draft pick. But, are there any exceptions?
This season, the Sixers are 15-46 and although their roster is a lot different now than it was throughout their 15 wins, don’t be surprised if they finished this season with 16 or 17 in the win column. They started the season with Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes and now they’re both gone; on the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers respectively. We also dealt Lavoy Allen to the Pacers with Turner. Trading them signified that this team meant business; to suck, that is.
Last night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Sixers sported a lineup of Lorenzo Brown, Elliot Williams, Hollis Thompson, Byron Mullens, and Jarvis Varnado. Is that the Delaware 87ers or the Philadelphia 76ers? Who knows. Regardless, neither team could have stopped Russell Westbrook, who recorded a triple double (2nd fastest in history) in 20 minutes, nor Kevin Durant, who scored 42 points in three quarters.
Here’s the question: We know the Sixers flat out aren’t good, but could they have done better? Could they have played harder? Did they give it their all? If they didn’t put it all out their on the floor, then that’s a reflection of coaching. It’s also a bad look for the organization. Sam Hinkie’s plan is obvious and I’ve already talked about it in this article and before. We want to suck, but most teams, such as the New York Knicks, who tore their roster apart to make a run at Lebron James, and the Miami Heat, who stripped their team apart to pair the aforementioned James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who was already a member of Miami, did it by simply dismantling. The Sixers did this, but there’s no room for a lack of effort.
Once again, I’m not making any assumptions, but the guys that we dealt (Turner, Allen and Hawes) were obviously disinterested out there. They were our leaders, too, which is saddest of all. It was sad for two reasons. One, because they are bench players on half of the of teams in the NBA and two, because they were OUR LEADERS with horrible attitudes. Did that trickle down through our locker room? Even if it did, I doubt any of the players would admit it.
Michael Carter-Williams as of right now is the rookie of the year and it’s obvious that he has a lot of talent, but he’ll need to continue meshing that talent with knowledge and maturity. MCW can’t legally drink yet. He’s still young and easily influenced by others around him. Now, he is our leader, as a kid. This season is going in the dumpster and we’re all putting our chips into next year’s basket, so maybe the guys know this and that could be why they’re showing some apathy. Still, we need to show heart, or people are going to start chirping.
Yes, this is a smart business move, because if we continued to get mediocre draft picks, we would stay…. mediocre. Finally, Hinkie came here and had the balls to step up, step out and do something that this team hasn’t done in years. So, to go back to the point I made earlier, could Brett Brown be a cause for concern? Is he not being enough of a father? Is he closing his eyes and praying to God that the 2014-15 season has started? Is he fed up? Are these signs of weakness?
We can only wait and see how he handles himself. As of now, all we can do is wonder.