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Checking in on the Sixers’ Tanking Operation Before Their Orlando Visit

Mar 10, 2013, 5:07 PM EDT

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As of a couple weeks ago, the Sixers have pretty well committed
themselves to tanking this season—whether they actually meant to do so
or not—going 1-11 in their last 12 games. When you look at that stat and
consider that the team wasn’t all that good to begin with, you’d think
they’d be well on their way to a top five pick by now. But while it only
takes two to tango, it takes a whole lot more to tank…o…and the
Sixers haven’t gotten the kind of cooperation from the teams beneath
them that they need to keep slipping in the standings. Here are the
records of how the teams I wrote about the Sixers possibly catching in
the standings since I wrote that article about two weeks ago:

Toronto Raptors: 1-5
Minnesota Timberwolves: 1-5
Detroit Pistons: 1-4
New Orleans Hornets: 1-5
Washington Wizards: 2-4

Thanks
a lot, guys. Thanks to your impressively pathetic efforts, the Sixers
(at 15 games under .500) remain tied with the Raptors for just the
tenth-worst record in the league, a game “behind” the Timberwolves and
1.5 behind the Pistons. At least the Cavaliers have managed to go 3-3
(and the Suns 4-2) over that timespan, both bringing themselves to
within tanking distance for the Sixers.

Looks like out-losing
the bottom teams is gonna be nearly as big a challenge for the Sixers as
actually re-entering the playoff race would be. Still, you can only
lose the games on your schedule, and the Sixers will have a tough (but
not impossible) loss tonight when they visit the Orlando Magic, still in
second in the tanking rankings, though now well behind the historically
bad (again) Charlotte Bobcats. Sixer fans will no doubt recall that
Operation Bottom-Out officially began with the Magic’s home
embarrassment of the Liberty Ballers at the Wells Fargo Center a couple
weeks ago, which ended with Coach Collins smilingly denouncing his team
and pining for Nik Vucevic, briefly making the Sixers’ suckiness a
national story.

6:00 tip from Amway Center. Will the Sixers care
enough about their prior defeat to actually try to win this game in
Orlando? Is that something we even want? Will it be funny to try to
watch Spencer Hawes scrap for rebounds and loose balls, desperate to
earn Collins’ love back? Eh. Go Pistons, Cavaliers and Timberwolves in
their respective games tonight.

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