By now, folks realize the 76ers are treated like a national joke for their futility.
Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe said Kentucky, his alma mater, would beat the Sixers in five games of a seven-game series. ESPN had been poking fun of the franchise on a daily basis.
So how does Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA MVP, feel about the 1-17 Sixers?
They avoided the worst start in NBA history by posting their victory of the season, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 85-77, Wednesday night at the Target Center.
"They've been playing hard," said Durant, whose Oklahoma City Thunder face the Sixers Friday night at Wells Fargo Center. "They're a young team. We've been through it where it kind of tough to finish out game.
"But they've been in a lot of games. It's just a matter of them finishing."
Friday's matchup will mark Durant's second game back from the foot injury that sidelined him for six weeks. He had 27 points in Tuesday's 112-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Durant's all-star caliber teammate Russell Westbrook returned from a fractured hand last week.
The team has struggled when its best two players were sidelined. As a result, they come to Philadelphia with a 5-13 record.
"We definitely can't look past them," he said of the Sixers. "We've got to play hard for 48 minutes. We've seen it. We let up three minutes last game and they [Pelicans] went up 17 on us. It was hard to fight back.