Trans. Dec 2 7:44 ET (Dec 2 7:44 ET ) The Philadelphia 76ers’ defense is bad. Their offense is potentially historically bad (although they have improved a little lately they are still far and away the worst in the NBA and just ahead of worst-ever pace). We all know this is part of management and GM Sam Hinkie’s master plan — stockpile draft picks, play the young guys like Michael Carter-Williams , and as a byproduct be so bad as to get the chance to draft top talent. (And they did, Joel Embiid could be special, but he is also out for the season.) That doesn’t make them any easier to watch. The Philadelphia 76ers are just a dumpster fire. An 0-17 dumpster fire. Just two more losses from “besting” the 2009 New Jersey Nets, which lost 18 games to start the season, the NBA record for early season futility. Monday night the Sixers picked up a moral victory by battling from 24 back to make it interesting against the Spurs in the final minutes. Michael Carter-Williams had 24 points and the Sixers covered the covered the 11-point spread but fell 109-103 to a Spurs team resting Tony Parker and Tim Duncan . You know what you get for a moral victory in the NBA? Exactly. You get 0-17. When might the Sixers get that elusive first win? Let’s take a look at the schedule. • Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Minnesota Timberwolves. This could be the Sixers best chance because the Timberwolves are without Ricky Rubio , Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic , so they are leaning heavily on youth such as Andrew Wiggins , Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng . Of course, they still have guys like Thaddeus Young and Mo Williams , they have guys that can put up points, but they have struggled and lost 9-of-11, the most recent win needing a late Laker collapse to make happen. Lose this game and the Sixers tie the NBA record for most losses to start a season. They should be desperate. Minnesota is still more talented and at home, but we’ll call this one a coin toss. • Friday, Dec. 5, Oklahoma City Thunder. A week ago this looked much better, but with Russell Westbrook back (and Kevin Durant potentially back, he’s been practicing) this team is playing much better. Plus the Thunder have a sense of desperation about them, they know they have to win better than two-thirds of their games the rest of the way to even have a shot at the eight seed in the West. They are not going to let an easy win slip by them. Sixers have a five percent chance here. • Saturday, Dec. 6, at Detroit Pistons. Another winnable game for the Sixers as the Pistons have good talent on the roster — Andre Drummond , Josh Smith , Greg Monroe , Brandon Jennings — but none of it fits together well. Stan Van Gundy has a lot of work to clean up Joe Dumars’ mess. The Pistons have one of the worst offenses in the NBA, if the Sixers can just get some points on the board they have a chance. That said, it’s the second night of a back-to-back on the road for Philly, so let’s say the Sixers have just a 35 percent chance in this one. • Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have won seven of their last 10 and they have Jeff Teague playing at a near All-Star level at the point, not to mention Al Horford in the paint. Atlanta is just the better team and the Sixers have maybe a five percent chance in this one. • Friday, Dec. 12, at Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have been up and down this season, with a defense that has been pretty average but an offense that is bottom 10. Still, the Nets have good talent on that side of the ball — Deron Williams , Joe Johnson , Brook Lopez (if he’s healthy). I can’t imagine Kevin Garnett letting the Nets lose to the Sixers, but this is an up and down team and things happen. We’ll give the Sixers a 15 percent chance to get this win. • Saturday, Dec. 13, Memphis Grizzlies. Philadelphia has no shot here. None. Zero. • At this point if the Sixers are still winless at 0-23 it’s going to be a massive national story to see if they can set another futility record (remember they lost 26 straight last season tying the 2010-11 Cavaliers). But the Sixers also would have three winnable games as they got desperate: Boston, Charlotte and Orlando. All three lottery bound teams struggling to start the season. The Sixers would not be favorites in any of those games — good chance they are not a favorite all season — but they’ll have a chance. Which is to say, they are not going to get to 26 and set an NBA record to start the season. Probably. But that Magic game on Dec. 21 starts a seven game road trip, so the Sixers can just start a new streak. -- Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk.com
The Sixers did not go away quietly against the San Antonio Spurs. With under a minute to play, the Sixers had an opportunity to close the deficit to three points but Alexey Shved missed a layup. Kawhi Leonard converted a three-point play at the opposite end to put the Sixers away in a 109-103 loss. The loss dropped the Sixers to 0-17, just one away from tying the worst start ever in NBA history. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were inactive for San Antonio. Nerlens Noel and Tony Wroten were sidelined with a hip flexor and sprained knee, respectively, for the Sixers. Turning point The Sixers did a decent job defending the Spurs in the first quarter as they held San Antonio to 37.9 percent shooting. The second quarter was a totally different story. The Spurs shot 65.0 percent from the field and 80.0 percent from three-point range to help push their lead from seven points to 15 at the break. San Antonio's 15-point halftime lead was needed because the Sixers outscored the Spurs by nine points in the second half. Follow the leader Leonard is the Spurs’ future All-Star. The 2014 NBA Finals MVP led the Spurs with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four assists. Aron Baynes, who started in Duncan's place, scored 15 points and grabbed nine boards. Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 24 points. He also had 11 rebounds and seven assists. Shved had a season-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. He was 7 for 16 from the field. Stat-egic The Spurs had 14 turnovers, including five in the fourth quarter. The Sixers turned the ball over 10 times in the game. Take a bow Jerami Grant appeared in his second NBA game. He wowed the crowd late in the third quarter with a one-handed dunk after he ripped the ball right out of Austin Daye's hands. Grant played a total of 13 minutes and finished with four points and three rebounds. What's next? The Sixers travel to Minnesota for a Wednesday game against the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves have just four wins, and they are banged up. They are missing their leading scorer in Kevin Martin (20.4 ppg), leading rebounder in Nikola Pekovic (8.1 rpg) and top assist man in Ricky Rubio (10.0 apg). It will be the first opportunity to see former Sixer Thaddeus Young playing for the opposition during the regular season. Young is the team's second-leading scorer with 13.9 points per game. - Dei Lynam, CSN Philadelphia
Kevin Martin, who leads the Minnesota Timberwolves with 20.4 points a game this season, underwent successful surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right wrist, the NBA club announced. The operation, performed by Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic, is expected to sideline the 31-year-old point guard from six to eight weeks. Martin suffered the injury early in the first quarter of Minnesota's 115-99 victory over the New York Knicks last Wednesday, a matchup in which he scored 37 points. The 11-year NBA veteran began his NBA career in 2004 with Sacramento and has also made stops in Houston and Oklahoma City.