Philadelphia 76ers: Tanking isn’t helping confidence

When the Sixers set out on their six-game road trip on Dec. 21, they had not won away from home since Nov 1.They now have four road wins to their name with the last three coming against Western Conference foes.

This is not ideal for fans that are hoping for them to tank in hopes for a higher draft pick next year. But the young squad wants to win not tank.

Their most recent win came in a physical 113-104 win over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night to move their record to 11-21 on the season. A loss in Sacramento would have left the Sixers tied for the 29th in the NBA standings with the Orlando Magic at 10-22 on the season. Instead, the Sixers triumphant victory over the Kings now has the boys from the Wells Fargo Center 11-21 on the year and currently slotted for the eighth pick in the 2014 Draft.

Tony Wroten, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings defender Derrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Steve Yeater/AP)

Tony Wroten, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings defender Derrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Steve Yeater/AP)

However, the Sixers’ position in the NBA standings has more to do with the pitifulness of the Eastern Conference than the Sixers’ newfound road success. Believe it or not, but the Sixers’ three-game winning streak has them tied with Dallas for the third-longest streak in the entire League. If that’s not sad, what is?

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That is where the argument of losing so much comes in. The players, especially the young ones, just seem to get so much more out of a season when they are learning how to win. Tony Wroten is learning that “home run” plays aren’t always the ones that put you in the best position to win.

This all boils down to one simple thing: with Brett Brown’s free-flowing offense and Michael Carter-Williams in the lineup, the Sixers can score the ball and are entertaining to watch. When the leading Rookie of the Year candidate is on the floor, the Sixers are 10-11 this season.

And with Thaddeus Young literally playing at an All-Star level since Liberty Ballers reported his trade request—he’s scored 25+ points in five of the last six games.

Sure, winning a lot this season really doesn’t do much for the Sixers, but losing too much could be much worse. They have to get some sort of feel of what it’s like to win some games, perhaps maybe even put together some sort of winning streak.

The road ahead also gets tougher. After the Sixers travel to Portland to finish off this road extravaganza on Saturday, the team will return to face Minnesota and then face nine teams in their last 13 games in January that are currently slated for a playoff berth. Also in that mix is a game at Cleveland, the Knicks twice and a trip to Chicago.

Not to worry, fans. Their roster is what it is, their youth is plentiful and the losses will surely mount. But during an 82-game season, a sprinkling of wins is a must.

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