The Philadelphia 76ers struggled out of the gate after the All-Star break. However, the Sixers’ first three losses of the second half were somewhat excusable. Losing to the Miami Heat and New York Knicks is never a surprise for the Sixers, and even losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves was easy to understand because it was on the road. However, the Sixers’ 98-84 loss to the Orlando Magic on Feb. 26 had no excuses to fall back on.
Losing to the 16-41 Magic is inexcusable enough these days, given how far they’ve fallen from the Dwight Howard years. But doing it in Philadelphia was even worse, especially since Orlando has a worse road record than the Sixers.
The Magic had lost 10 games in a row away from home, which was even worse than the Sixers’ current seven-game road losing streak. However, only one of those streaks are still alike now.
This game was supposed to be a relief for the Sixers after their losses to the Heat and Knicks. It also came before they face the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 28, making it extra important to pick up a win while they could.
When they lost to the Timberwolves on Feb. 20, the Sixers seemed unlikely to bounce back against the Heat and Knicks over the weekend, and they didn’t. Now not only does Philadelphia look unlikely to bounce back over Chicago, it is hard to see this team beating anyone in the NBA.
The Magic opened up a lead in the second quarter, then started the third on an 11-0 spurt and began the fourth on a 17-3 run. This left the Sixers down by as many as 21 points to a bottom feeding team at home, in a loss that dropped them to a season-worst 11 games under .500. By most standards, this would qualify as rock bottom.
There are officially no more gimmie games for the Sixers to look forward to. After the losses to Minnesota and Orlando, it is clear that Philadelphia can lose to pretty much anyone.
The way things are going now, it seems like the Sixers will lose to pretty much anyone by the time the season ends -- and ends much sooner than everyone expected four months ago.