The 2014-15 season ended with a sigh as the Sixers lost in the final game of the season 105-101, to the Miami Heat at the Wells Fargo Center. With both teams arguably needing a loss to help their chances of increasing their draft prominence, it was the Sixers who left with the upper hand.. or so they thought. The loss turned out to be meaningless as the Nets rallied past the Magic to decline the Sixers any chance of increasing their pick. But as a team, they were unable to break their second worse losing streak of the year.
Either way, both the team and Coach Brett Brown will be relieved that the season has come to an end. A 19-win season was proceeded by an 18-win season, a true sign that work needs to be done in the off-season.
What will go down in Philly this offseason remains unknown however. There are still a lot of uncertainties and despite finding some flashes of brilliance, they need to undertake a complete evaluation as to who needs to stay, who needs to go and who to bring in if the team are to be any kind of presence in the Atlantic Division next season. and how many pieces does the team need to be somewhat relevant in the Atlantic Division standings.
In terms of the finale however, it was a case of both teams trying to coast to the end and prevent any injuries. Both teams only dressed eight players with Brown only using two reserves.
Surprisingly though, both teams gave it everything they had at the end. For the Sixers, it was JaKarr Sampson who had the breakout game, scoring eight of his team-high 22 points in the final quarter . Alongside Sampson’s late steal and dunk with under 30 seconds remaining, it was one of the few signs that gave the Sixers a chance after rallying back from a 16 point deficit in the second half.
The win simply wasn’t to be. Walker’s three-pointer with 9.9 seconds left gave the Heat a small lead they would not surrender. Philly came back with a last gasp attempt but “Lord” Robert Covington’s three-pointer came up short and instead gave Miami a game sealing dunk at the other end.
One interesting event to take place was the play calling. Down by 16, Brown handed all play calling duties to Noel, Embiid, Luc Mbah and Richardson in an attempt to keep their interest in a game that was ultimately meaningless.
What’s next for the Sixers? The Draft Lottery. One of the small positives of being a Sixers fan is going to take place in July with workouts the month before. Coach Brown has quite rightly raised the bar for next season, the question is will there be some new faces to lift the team so they can reach them? Stay tuned for our prospects rundown as well as a special series of articles evaluating EVERY players’ performance to decide if they should stay or go.