Back on January 29th, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics in dramatic fashion as Evan Turner made a game winning shot in the final seconds. Instead of providing some momentum for the team, they lost their next game by 26 points to the Atlanta Hawks.
Following this tough loss, the team went into a downward spiral losing 19 straight games which tied a franchise record. Last night, the Sixers had an opportunity to try to avoid making history as they took on the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers.
The Sixers got off to a great start as they found themselves up by nine points early in the game. Late in the second quarter, the struggles started again as they went into halftime down by eight.
For one of the few times during the losing streak, they showed some fight and pride as they battled back to tie the Pacers. They fell behind again late in the game, but once again climbed back to cut the lead to three.
However, Lance Stephenson and Paul George were too much for the Sixers as they were able to seal the victory late. The Sixers fell to the Pacers by a score of 99-90 which set a new franchise record with 21 consecutive losses.
This losing streak is a reflection of the Sixers overall plan which is to prepare them for seasons to come. In the meantime, they are full of young faces with very little NBA experience and it is showing in the loss column.
Coach Brett Brown knows that this is a tough time for his team as well as all the people who follow the Sixers. However, he is well aware of the circumstances and does not let it bother him on how he handles the team.
“It is not tough at all. It is hard because of a competitive thing, but in relation to worrying about a record, we don’t live in that world,” said Brown. “We’re on a different path right now. We started the season with a plan and we are on a whole other level to reconfirm our plan.”
Brown reiterated that it is not about wins or losses, but about trying to build a solid program which will take some time.
“We got some young assets and it is another example of what we are trying to do to build and grow and that is the purpose of our year this year,” said Brown.
Brown may be optimistic and not worried about this disaster that the Sixers are currently stuck in. However, it does not take away from the fact that the Sixers remain one of the worst teams in NBA history.
The 1980-1981 Detroit Pistons were just as bad as they lost 21 straight before they finally won another game. There have been three other teams in NBA history that have lost 23 consecutive games.
The record still remains with the Cleveland Cavaliers as they hold the two longest losing streaks the NBA has ever seen.
They lost 24 games in row during the 1981-1982 season which then carried over into the 1982-1983 season. They then topped this horrific stretch by losing 26 games in a row back in 2010-2011; the year after losing LeBron James.
It is no secret that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been a historically bad team. The Sixers have been a much more successful franchise, but are looking to avoid surpassing the Cavaliers in the record books.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, the odds of them putting this streak to an end in the next few games are very unlikely.
In the next five games, they play Chicago twice, New York, San Antonio, and Houston. Each of these teams are fighting for playoff positioning.
A win does not appear to be on the horizon anytime soon for Coach Brown’s team. There is a very good chance that they will surpass Cleveland with the longest losing streak in NBA history.
However, it remains important for the team to continue to fight and to not worry about wins and losses. This is a growing team that is expected to lose, so they need to go into every game with a mindset to give 100 percent effort.
If they continue to do so, they will earn Brown’s trust and help make a name for themselves in the NBA going forward.
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