As a batting average, it makes you a Hall of Famer. As a winning percentage, it makes you a joke.
The question is, where do they go from here. The last time the Sixers were this bad through 45 games was Allen Iverson's sophomore season. That year, they finished the season 31-51 and wound up taking Larry Hughes with the #8 pick in the draft.
Two seasons ago, they were only a couple of games better than they are right now through 45, 18-27. That year they scratched and clawed up the standings, eventually earning a playoff berth.
Personally, I don't think a run like that is possible with Eddie Jordan at the helm, but who knows. Is 26-11 out of the question? Who knows, right now I think that's beside the point.
We've probably reached the point of no return. The point where the Sixers would be better off finishing 11-26 and hopefully assuring themselves of a decent shot at John Wall in the lottery.
It's an extremely difficult position to be in as a fan. There's one sure-fire way of finishing at the bottom, conducting a fire sale, but then you're probably setting the franchise back needlessly. The other option is to just take a hands-off approach with Eddie Jordan and let him do his damage. Jordan coaching to win is the equivalent of tanking anyway. Combining those two options is probably the safest bet if a high lottery pick is your ultimate goal. There's a third option which would be tricky to pull off, but I believe would have the best overall return if executed successfully. Fire Jordan immediately, insert McKie as your head coach, sit him down and explain to him that he won't be judged on wins and losses. Tell him to play sensible, young lineups for the rest of the season, no matter what the cost, and phase out guys who aren't in the team's long-term plans. Odds are, if you made these changes, the team would be better in the short term, but I guess that's a risk you'd have to take.
Honestly, I'm at odds right now. I hate what Jordan's done to this team. I hate seeing them play this ugly brand of basketball. I hate seeing them lose most of all, but maybe it's a blessing. If Ed Stefanski can avoid doing anything extremely stupid, like trading Iguodala for table scraps, maybe we get to add a high draft pick to this young core and start again next season with a new coach. Personally, I think that's overly optimistic, though. Right now, we've got a terrible coach and a desperate GM. The GM believes his roster is too talented to be this bad. The owner seems to share this opinion. The coach knows his job is hanging by a thread. Desperate men, men who believe their jobs are on the line, will do desperate things. In Jordan's case, that means playing Allen Iverson for 40 minutes if he's needed to beat the Nets. For Stefanski, it could mean pulling the trigger on an ill-advised trade to get his coach the player his coach believes he needs.
Amid all this confusion, there's one thing I'm absolutely positive of. This Sixers season should have a do not resuscitate order. No extreme measures should be taken to salvage the season. Every move or non move should be made or not made with nothing but 2010-2011 and beyond in mind. You don't fire Jordan to get more wins this season, you only fire him if you believe, as I do, that he's doing long-term damage to the franchise. You don't make a trade to better the team in the short term, you only do it to create usable cap space, rid the team of an albatross contract or add a piece who will fit with the young core over the long haul.
That's the barometer for every move, as far as I'm concerned. Not what does this this move do for this season, what does it do beyond this season. I truly hope our GM has the same thought process, because if he needs to win now to save his job, we're in for some bad decisions.
I have a full plate today, my preview for the Sixers/Lakers battle at the Wach will be up around 5pm. Let me know how you guys feel about the direction of the team, and more importantly the motivation for the decision makers in the comments.