At least we got to game 74 this time before yadda-yadda-ing the rest of the season. It's hard to argue that the Sixers weren't better off losing their last eight contests of the season -- finishing last night with a 114-113 loss to New York -- especially once Robert Covington went down for the season and it became clear that the Kings weren't quite gonna do our tanking for us. But it's still kind of a bummer that it ended that way, that we still haven't evolved past Purposefully Inconsequential Basketball, that we couldn't quite get to 30 wins.
Still, the ephemeral low of having finished the 2016-'17 season as a D-League squad yet again will of course be much shorter than any ensuing elation from getting a little lottery luck, which the Sixers certainly helped their odds of happening with their crappy play the last few weeks. Basically, things worked out the way we hoped: The Sixers lost out, the Lakers somehow won a handful of games Magic couldn't help but squeak out a W last night against Detroit (bless you Marcus Georges-Hunt and your long, illustrious NBA career).
So we passed Orlando in the tanking rankings, while Phoenix passed L.A., leading to about a 48% chance that the Sixers jump into the top three, and about a 53% chance that the Lakers slide out of it. (Of course, of that 48%, about 10% belongs to the Kings, who finished an untied 8th in the lottery standings with a loss and a Mavericks win last night.) We didn't think we'd end up back here, we convinced ourselves we wouldn't care if we did or not, but sure enough, Lottery Night is gonna be A Thing again, even beyond the Process' jersey retirement.
Is this the last time that this is gonna be the last time for all this? All evidence would point to yes, while all history and intuition would point to no. More about all that to come, but for now, let's take the traditional Thank God We Don't Have to Watch This Sixers Team Again This Year victory lap and dream sweet dreams tonight about Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Robert Covington and Markelle Fultz -- sure, let's take Jayson Tatum too while we're at it -- all playing together, 12 healthy legs and feet between them, with only the overwhelming brightness of the future as a distraction.