Who: Philadelphia 76ers (0-12) vs New York Knicks (3-10)
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Watch On : The Comcast Network/97.5 The Fanatic
The Lowdown: After what seemed like a great start against the Phoenix Suns, the Philadelphia 76ers once again had no answers when the Suns got hot and were blown out at home, 122-96. So now the Sixers head to New York for a game against the Knicks, another team that can’t seem to get out of their own way.
When Phil Jackson was brought in to run the Knicks, great things were expected. He hired Derek Fisher as the head coach, re-signed Carmelo Anthony and most thought the Knicks would be a serious contender in the Eastern Conference and the playoffs. Instead the team sits at 3-10, second to the bottom of the standings (ahead of only the Sixers) and are averaging only 95.8 points per game while allowing 100.8. Anthony has played well, averaging 23.8 points, 3.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game, but the rest of the squad has been a disappointment to say the least. On the upside, both Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani are expected to make their first appearance of the season so we’ll see if that provides a spark to the rest of the roster.
And then you have the Sixers. Winless on the season and things seem to be going from bad to worse. After showing some fire and passion against the Suns in the first quarter, that all disappeared as soon as Phoenix went on a run in the second and never looked back. The Sixers are starting to have a “why even bother” vibe about them, which is very dangerous for a young team like this. It’s one of the biggest problems with the whole tanking philosophy; the younger players can’t handle the reality of all the losing and become hopeless. It is especially evident in the second half of games, particularly the third frame, where teams are just running away with things while the Sixers just flounder and look for answers.
The Sixers are now only three games away from tying the record for worst start in franchise history and six from the record for worst start in NBA history. If the Sixers hope to get a win, the game against the Knicks might be their best hope for quite a while.