Perfect Ending to a Perfectly Terrible Season

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

Chicago 115, Philadelphia 105 – Box Score

In a couple different ways, Wednesday night was the perfect way to encapsulate the 2015-16 season for the Philadelphia 76ers. First, regarding the recent upheaval in the front office, we got to see the Dark Sith Lord behind the scenes himself, Jerry Colangelo, who made the trip to the United Center in Chicago. A couple interesting lies were exposed in the process of his interview with Sixers media.

Hmmm, Colangelo being involved until the final two candidates does not exactly line up with what Josh Harris said in the press conference over the weekend: “Jerry truthfully, to be fair to Bryan and to be fair to himself, recused himself from the process and wasn’t involved… It just so happens Bryan was the best guy for the job and we also had his Hall of Fame dad in the organization.”

Sure, Colagnelo wasn’t involved, once it was down to only his son and one straw man.

We also heard this:

So the fact that he resigned as Chairman of Basketball Operations doesn’t mean the elder Colangelo won’t still be whispering commands in Josh Harris’ ear.

As for the action on the court, it was also quintessential Sixers. Somehow, someway, the Sixers were atmosphere of Venus-hot from behind the arc early on, jumping out to a 42-18 lead. Philadelphia ended the night with a franchise-record 17 threes on 35 attempts.

Robert Covington drained 6 of those triples, on 13 attempts, for a team-high 27 points; the game marked the 4th-straight to end the season where RoCo made at least 5 threes. Hollis Thompson chipped in with a 3-6 night from behind the arc for a season-high 21 points.

However, I said the game represented this season for the Sixers, which means a feel-good win wasn’t on the menu. Tragically for Philadelphia fans, Chicago went on a 25-1 run between the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third. Going from being up 24 points to suddenly being down is one of the more common ways the Sixers have lost this year, right behind being down by a lot early on, only to almost fight their way back and fall short.

With the Sixers only playing 7 guys, and no center other than Nerlens Noel. Chicago blasted the Sixers on the boards. Chicago held a 53 to 31 rebounding edge, including 16-4 on the offensive glass. The Bulls also actually shot better from behind the arc than the Sixers, knocking down 15 of 24 (62.5%).

Nikola Mirotic canned 7-11 triples for 32 points, the second-highest point total of his career. Justin Holiday did manage a career-high, with 29 points on 5-7 from three. After being released by the Sixers and seeing them trade his brother, you know he felt really good about that outcome. Jimmy Butler also finished with the quietest triple-double you’ll ever see, with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Finally, at long last, this horrible season is over. Now, all that’s left to do is count down until next month’s lottery. Plus, hope the Colangelos can back up what they’ve been selling to Sixers ownership these last few months. We’ll find out soon enough.

 


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