What Are the Odds the Philadelphia 76ers Start 0-19?

At 0-13, the 76ers are off to a historically bad start. Could they set the record for most losses to start a season?

Last week when the Philadelphia 76ers were 0-9, we looked at the probability of the Sixers' starting 0-19. At 0-9, the probability was just 2.6%, but sitting at 0-13, the odds are certainly a bit higher.

I won't bury the lede too much. The chance the 76ers start 0-19 right now, according to our algorithms, is sitting at 10.6%.

But if you're interested in just how bad things could get by season's end, I suggest you continue reading.

At 0-13, the Sixers are well on their way toward the worst start in NBA history, but an underlying subplot of it all is that they are already halfway to the longest losing streak in NBA history, too. The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped 26 straight ranging from December 2010 to February 2011.

Oh, yeah. Philadelphia just tied that mark last year, losing 26 straight from January to March.

What lies ahead for the very Illadelphia on their trek to 0-19?

The Road to 19

Standing in the way to historic badness for the 76ers is a four-game home stand - and five home games in their next six. But before that inspires much confidence for 76ers fans, the schedule doesn't include any overly promising matchups.

Nov. 24th, 2014Portland Trail BlazersHome
Nov. 26th, 2014Brooklyn NetsHome
Nov. 29th, 2014Dallas MavericksHome
Dec. 1st, 2014San Antonio SpursHome
Dec. 3rd, 2014Minnesota TimberwolvesAway
Dec. 5th, 2014Oklahoma City ThunderHome

Portland visits Philadelphia tonight, the second-toughest matchup in their next six according to our algorithms. But the games against the Nets, Timberwolves, and Thunder don't seem too impossible, right?

Well, let's just say that the 76ers don't even have a 36% chance of winning any of those games that they would need to win to avoid the worst start in league history.

What about 0-26?

If the Sixers still can't win by game 19, they might struggle to get one before their 26th game.

Some better matchups are ahead for the 76ers, sure, but this only further evidences just how atrocious this 76ers squad has been this season.

DateOpponentHome/AwaynERD (Rank)
Dec. 6, 2014Detroit PistonsAway36.8 (25th)
Dec. 10th, 2014Atlanta HawksAway46.1 (17th)
Dec. 12th, 2014Brooklyn NetsAway50.6 (15th)
Dec. 13th, 2014Memphis GrizzliesHome71.3 (5th)
Dec. 15th, 2014Boston CelticsHome44.5 (18th)
Dec. 19th, 2014Charlotte HornetsHome37.6 (24th)
Dec. 21st, 2014Orlando MagicAway37.8 (23rd)

Sure, three of those seven games feature teams ranked outside of our power rankings' top 20, but to have any real context, we need to compare those nERD scores. nERD is our metric for projecting wins, and it is ultimately indicative of a team's expected win percentage.

Naturally, the league average is 50. Philadelphia's nERD is 1.8.


How is that even possible?

How is that even possible?

That's a good question.

Well, for starters, they rank 22nd in defensive efficiency, allowing 107.8 points per 100 possessions, but that's actually not too bad at all. The league average is around 105.8, so they aren't entirely abysmal defensively.

It's the offense that has them down. Way down.

The league average in offensive efficiency is also 105.8 or so right now, and the 76ers' efficiency is...90.8. That's second to the Thunder, whose offensive efficiency is 98.4, and no other team is below 100.0 right now.

The dearth of scoring has put Philadelphia's scoring differential at -16.5, and no other team loses by an average of 10 or more. The Lakers are at -9.6, which is significant. Based on our algorithms, the best chance the 76ers have at winning a game all year is when the Lakers come town...on March 30th.

And even then, the 76ers's win probability doesn't even hit 45%.