SOMEBODY IN THE ownership group or management of the Sixers should just act as if they care.

I am not asking for the truth.

Fake it, if necessary. Lie, if need be.

Just say anything to disprove what seems abundantly clear - that management does not give a darn about how dreadful the Sixers are; how little it cares about how embarrassing these nightly beatings are to the city; and, most important, how this current state of affairs actually threatens what this "process" is supposed to be about.

If Sixers managing owner Josh Harris, president/general manager Sam Hinkie or vice president of basketball strategy Ben Falk - they actually pay someone to game-plan this mess - can deliver a somewhat logical explanation for how fielding a team that has little chance of competing, much less actually winning, helps this rebuilding plan, please do.

Under the most fortunate circumstances, if everything were to fall the Sixers' way, nobody reasonably expected this to be a .500 team in only its third season of a massive makeover.

No one thinks that this thing is near complete, that young players are fully developed, or that all of the core pieces are in house.

Everyone understands that this is still the construction phase, but how about displaying a little measurable progress in the win column?

I don't want mumbo-jumbo analytics in which statistics are creatively spun to symbolize improvement. I don't want to hear about accumulated assets that might or might not translate into some superstar savior currently in college or high school.

I would like to see the Sixers show they can actually score more points than another team.

After Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sixers are a combined 37-142 since Hinkie took over in 2013.

Dating back to March 25, the Sixers have lost 25 straight regular-season games. It is over two seasons, which still counts in the record books, but they are one loss away from matching the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Sixers with an NBA-record 26th straight loss.

Just like last season, the Sixers (0-15) are threatening the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets' record of 18 consecutive losses to start an NBA season. Last season, the Sixers started 0-17.

"It feels night and day compared to 24 months ago," Hinkie said at the start of training camp. "Everything about the kind of things we can control behind the scenes feels different."

Hinkie was talking about sports science, nutrition, building a training facility, etc.

There is a more crucial thing Sixers management controls - player personnel. Unfortunately, it treats that responsibility like a distant afterthought.

The Sixers try to disguise the fact that they have intentionally assembled one of the worst rosters in the NBA by celebrating it is the youngest in NBA history.

That would be fine if more than 3 3/4 of those players actually belonged in the NBA.

Oh, I get that accumulating high picks in hopes of drafting franchise-altering players is the driving force of this rebuild, and that losing big increases the odds of getting a higher pick out of the lottery.

My 50-year-old brain cells are still functioning enough to grasp that concept. On certain levels, I agree that building through the draft was the Sixers' best course when Hinkie took over.

Where, however, are the signs of growth? Shouldn't we see some?

After acquiring five lottery picks, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor are the only two of Hinkie's first-round picks on this current roster. The 2014 draft class of Joel Embiid (foot injury) and Dario Saric (playing in Turkey) are still waiting for the train to stop in South Philadelphia.

The Sixers had a 26-game-losing streak in Hinkie's first season and lost 17 straight to start his second.

In his third, they are threatening to eclipse both dubious marks.

Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but that's still at the place where all this began.

Josh, Sam, Ben, please clue me in on how owning two of the longest losing streaks in history and two of the top five losing streaks to begin a season is an acceptable part of the process?

Perhaps because he is the only one who talks, coach Brett Brown is the only who tries to tell the truth, especially when the mounting frustration of constant losing percolates as it did Monday.

Brown likely got a call from principal Hinkie for getting off message and acknowledging, "I don't think we are close," when asked to compare the Sixers' rebuilding with that of the Timberwolves.

That's the biggest blow to this fallacy of suffering for a future championship the Sixers are selling.

In addition to the T-Wolves, the Sixers already lost - sometimes badly - to the Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.

When Hinkie took over, those teams also were bottom-feeders looking at rebuilds. All are further along than the Sixers.

So, come on, management, say something. Lie, if necessary. Just fake that you care about how bad things are.

Pretend as if it matters to you, so we can hold on to a reason for it to still matter to us.

Columns: ph.ly/Smallwood