Searching for light in the darkness that was Lakers-Sixers

When it comes to low-hanging fruit, it doesn’t get any riper than the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. Through a month-plus of action this season, the Sixers and Lakers have managed to reach seemingly impossible levels of ineptitude, but in very different ways.

A certain level of suck was expected from the Sixers this year. Sam Hinkie supporters even embraced  another season chalked full of fringe NBA players with designs on adding another premier draft pick to the organization’s collection of young talent. With the injuries piling up for former third-pick Joel Embiid and the complete and utter lack of a viable NBA point guard on the roster, a third straight season of obvious tanking was probably actually a necessity in Philly. The team’s 0-18 run to kick off the year was worse than most people anticipated, but it’s not as if the team was supposed to contend for the eighth seed.

The Lakers on the other hand – while not talented enough to be good in the eyes of most onlookers – didn’t intend on becoming the joke they’ve devolved into. Their off-season moves (minus the addition of the ball-stopping Lou Williams) should have prevented such organizational decay: Roy Hibbert was supposed to solidify the interior defense. And second-overall pick D’Angelo Russell was supposed to take the reins from Kobe Bryant as the franchise’s next focal point. Anyone who’s been paying attention know’s how those things have gone.

Through 36 combined games, the Lakers and Sixers have combined for three wins. Three wins – and one of those was the product of last night’s head-to-head match-up. The Warriors have three wins since Friday.

The Lakers have a 96.4 Offensive Rating, second worst in the league to Philadelphia’s 91.7. Los Angeles has the worst Effective Field Goal Percentage; the Sixers have roughly one turnover for every assist this year. The Lakers have a delusional, outdated head coach enabling a delusional, outdated former star on a retirement tour; the Sixers have an undrafted rookie running the point and have Nik Stauskas shooting 29 percent on 6 three-point tries a night.

Pointing out the glaring flaws with the league’s two worst teams is a sad game you can play all day if you so please. Gleaning positives from their play is much more difficult, though. So let’s try.

On Tuesday night we were treated to a mesmerizingly bad game between the Sixers and Lakers that saw Kobe shoot 7-for-26 from the field and resulted in Philadephia’s first win since March 25th (!?!). There was no play that better encapsulated what the Sadness Bowl was all about than this one:

About Sean Woodley

Sean graduated from Ottawa's Carleton University with a Journalism Degree in 2014. Since then, he's regularly contributed at SB Nation's Toronto Raptors site, Raptors HQ, while writing and hosting podcasts for Crossover Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter (@WoodleySean), and email him at sean.woodley1@gmail.com if you're interested in exchanging food for written or spoken words.

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