Sixers-Bulls 5 Things: Season Ends for 2 Dysfunctional Teams

The Sixers (10-71) will close out the 2015-16 season against the Chicago Bulls (41-40) on Wednesday night at the United Center (8 p.m./CSN).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Double dose of disappointment
Well, this is it.

Philadelphia 76ers

Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Let's Hope Daryl Morey Isn't Sam Hinkie 2.0 With Sixers

Former Saint Joe's Standout, NBA All-Star Jameer Nelson Hired by 76ers, Source Says

The curtain officially goes down on yet another awful season for the Sixers on Wednesday. This one was certainly the worst of "The Process." (Is it still called that now that Sam Hinkie is gone?).

There was the 0-18 start to the season, which tied the NBA's worst mark ever and combined with the 0-10 finish to last season to give the Sixers the longest losing streak in North American professional sports history. There was also the 1-30 record just prior to Christmas and four losing streaks of at least 10 games.

Those were just the on-court problems. Off the floor, Jahlil Okafor found himself in one situation after another from having a gun pulled on him in Old City, getting into a Boston street fight and speeding over the Ben Franklin Bridge. Teammate Nerlens Noel was not to be outdone with reports of him routinely showing up late and now a lawsuit for allegedly trashing a rental home.

Throw in the discord in the front office between the Hinkie-Jerry Colangelo-Bryan Colangelo triangle, and the Sixers have been a complete mess this season.

Yet, somehow the Bulls' season could actually be worse.

While the Sixers knew they would be lottery-bound yet again in 2015-16, Chicago entered the season with hopes of walking away with the Eastern Conference crown.

Instead, after parting ways with head coach Tom Thibodeau for Fred Hoiberg, the Bulls came apart at the seams. There was open criticism of Hoiberg from guard Jimmy Butler and multiple reports of teammates negatively responding to how newfound stardom has changed Butler. Add injuries along the way to veterans Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy, and the Bulls find themselves outside of the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

2. Show us what you got
With all that said, there is an actual game to play. For the young Sixers that means one more chance to show new man in charge Bryan Colangelo - or another team - exactly what you can do and what needs to be worked on during the summer.

That's another shot for Noel to show all the work on his jumper over the past three years could finally come together, or for Jerami Grant to show that he can consistently move out to the three-point line. It's also another opportunity for Ish Smith to prove he should be a starting point guard in this league, or for Nik Stauskas to show more of the swagger the Sixers believe he has inside.

The Sixers aren't the only side with players hoping to showcase their abilities one more time. Look for budding Bulls big man Cristiano Felicio to get plenty of run along with fellow rookie Bobby Portis.

3. Shutting down the old school Chevy?
Wednesday's game would appear to be the end of the line for Elton Brand and it's fitting his career could end Chicago.

Brand was drafted by the Bulls with the first overall pick in the 1999 draft and spent his first two seasons in the Windy City. Brand tacked on another 15 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Sixers in what has been an extremely solid career.

The 17-year veteran out of Duke has racked up 16,827 points on an even 50.0 percent shooting in addition to 9,040 rebounds, 2,184 assists, 1,828 blocks and 940 steals in 34,910 total minutes.

Brand earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors and two All-Star appearances (2002 and 2006) along the way. He also reached the postseason five times.

If Wednesday's game is the end for Brand, he has enjoyed the ride.

"It would be fun (to play Wednesday)," he said. "But it's been a wonderful journey either way.".

4. Injuries
Dunleavy (back), Rose (knee), Gasol (rest), Gibson (ribs), E'Twaun Moore (hamstring) and Noah (shoulder) are all out for the Bulls.

Richaun Holmes (Achilles) and Carl Landry (back) are game-time decisions for the Sixers.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost nine straight to the Bulls.

• Felicio has 32 points on 13 of 15 shooting in his last two games.

• The Sixers are 1-17 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season.

• Robert Covington is averaging 24.3 points in his last three games.

Copyright CSNPhily
Contact Us