The Philadelphia 76ers are unable to change their fortunes no matter who they play. Although the Sixers faced a New York Knicks team on March 10 that was overwhelmed by their own woes, not to mention the potential future hiring of Phil Jackson, it made no difference. The Knicks still beat up on the Sixers like everyone else has, as their 123-110 victory extended the worst stretch of Philadelphia basketball in over 40 years.
The Sixers may be horrendous now, but they still aren't as historically awful as the Philadelphia teams from the early 1970s. Yet while they won't finish this season 9-73, the Sixers are getting closer to topping that team for the worst losing streak in franchise history. The 1972-73 team lost 20 in a row, while this club is now three losses away from tying that mark.
This was one of the better losses in the last 17 games, since Philadelphia actually led for much of the first half. Michael Carter-Williams even put together a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. But the Knicks came back and traded leads and runs with the Sixers to start the second half, until the tide turned against Philadelphia for good.
New York began the fourth quarter on a 19-4 run, stretching a six-point lead to 21. It may have taken long than usual, yet the Sixers finally got blown out like usual, although they closed the gap in garbage time. Nevertheless, a loss is still a loss regardless of the margin.
The Knicks actually won their fourth straight game, in spite of all the distractions and past losses. But their streak doesn't matter, at least compared to the spectacle of wooing Jackson into running the team. If it works, New York hopes that this latest, desperate effort to recapture the glory of the early 70's is the one that finally pays off.
Ironically, while the Knicks are praying to have a year like 1972-73 again -- the one with their last championship -- the Sixers are doing much better bringing back the ghosts of their own 1972-73 season now. In fact, with four more losses, Philadelphia will actually top that historic year -- albeit in the second worst way -- while New York is ages away from topping their 1972-73 campaign no matter who comes onboard.