After a 10-5 January, things have started to go south for the 76ers. They are 3-7 in their last ten games, and Joel Embiid hasn’t played since January 27th. On top of that, our General Manager Bryan Colangelo blatantly lied to everyone about the severity of Joel Embiid’s knee injury. It went from a “bone bruise” to a “small meniscus tear” in the matter of two days. Oh, and he let Joel Embiid play against Houston with a small meniscus tear. So who knows if we will get to see Embiid or Simmons play the rest of the season because I can’t trust Bryan Colangelo.
But through all of this, there are some positives going on in Sixers land. For one, Jahlil Okafor is about to sign a lease on an apartment in New Orleans or Chicago. For the past week or two, the Sixers have been in “advanced discussions” to set the Duke big man free and clear up the gluttony of centers on the roster. Our own Rafael Torres even said that the Sixers plan on trading him before tonight’s game in Charlotte, which Okafor did not even travel to. So for the past couple of hours, I have been constantly refreshing Twitter waiting for this story to break.
The best part of this grueling past week as a Sixers fan is that “every-man” T.J. McConnell had his second game-winner of the season to beat the Orlando Magic and then had a double-double to beat the Heat for the second time this season. He has been one of the best stories in the NBA this season as a guy who started out playing at Duquesne, went undrafted, and is now a legitimate NBA player who leads the league in last-second game-winning shots.
It seems like it was so long ago that the Sixers went an aforementioned 10-5 in one month and had the city thinking playoffs, but even through the recent losing, there is always a positive. As we stand today, the Sixers have the fourth-worst winning percentage in the NBA, setting them up to have another top 5 pick this year. The past four years have been filled with me circling the start of the NBA season and then circling the date of the lottery, and that is no different this year. However, with a guard loaded class (that Steve Young detailed here) the Sixers can really fill out their roster with this draft. I have personally been of the belief that Malik Monk was put on this Earth to be a Sixer, so this isn’t so bad.
Even through the losing, lies, and injuries, each of us should be able to find solace in T.J. McConnell game-winners and sweet dreams of Malik Monk corner threes. Hopefully, by tonight I have a big Jahlil Okafor trade story to write and watch the Sixers beat the Hornets as well. Let’s also hope that we can see Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid play together once this year, but we just have to stay positive.