By Sam Bush
In many ways, the Sixers’ 115-105 loss last night in Chicago was typical.
A hard effort by a team, depleted by injuries and low on talent, resulting in yet another loss in a 10-72 season.
But after last night’s exclamation point to the Sixers season, all the turmoil seemed to be in the other locker room.
That was the word from Bulls executives John Paxson and Gar Forman after Chicago closed a disappointing season.
”We understand accountability,” said Paxson, Chicago’s executive vice president of basketball operations. ”We are accountable for what this team did this year. We don’t run away from it. We accept it. That’s on us. We get it.”
Paxson defended firing former coach Tom Thibodeau a year ago and said Fred Hoiberg will be back for a second season. He also said the management team is going nowhere and shot down a report that Forman’s job was in jeopardy, saying, ”It’s not.”
Robert Covington (above) led Philly with 27 points, hitting six 3s. Hollis Thompson added 21 points, Jerami Grant had 20, but the 76ers ended the season on an all-too-familiar note.
They head into the offseason with about $60 million in cap space and up to four first-round draft picks after former general manager Sam Hinkie gutted the team in recent years. He quit last week via a rambling 13-page manifesto to ownership and was replaced by former NBA executive of the year Bryan Colangelo, whose father Jerry also stepped aside as chairman of basketball operations.
”In many ways it is time for us to move on in regards to the next phase,” coach Brett Brown said. ”I think that the city and the coaching staff, some of those players will look back on this experience and this time as most definitely one that was learning, just not one that was reflective of winning. I think in hindsight we will be far better to judge what happened down the road.”
The 76ers are the sixth team in NBA history to go a full season without winning back-to-back games, according to STATS. The others were the 1947-48 Providence Steamrollers (48 games), 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers (82 games), 2004-05Atlanta Hawks (82 games), 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats (66 games) and 2013-14 Milwaukee Bucks (82 games).