But with a playoff berth now in sight, Philadelphia looks to continue its longest winning streak in four years when it visits the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
The 76ers (25-38) were written off after dealing Iverson to Denver on Dec. 19. They were 5-18 at the time of the trade and went on to lose 11 of their next 16 games.
But since then, Andre Iguodala has emerged as a scorer to fill Iverson's spot and Philadelphia has taken off. The Sixers beat Indiana 100-96 on Saturday for their seventh straight victory, their longest win streak since Feb. 12-March 2, 2003, when they won nine in a row.
"This team's been through a lot this year as far as finding out what kind of character we have, learning new roles," Philadelphia's Kyle Korver said. "We've stayed patient and stayed positive, and I think learned a lot about the guys we had on this team. We've still got a long way to go, but I definitely feel like we've made some progress in the right direction. We hope it will continue."
Iguodala has averaged 25 points during the winning streak for Philadelphia, which is just a handful of games behind other teams fighting for the final few playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
"We've just been working ourselves into playing good basketball," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "When we were struggling for a while, we were trying to do the same thing. There were some times where we weren't getting wins out of it. This is the result of the things we were doing when we were struggling."
After sweeping a six-game homestand, Philadelphia beat Indiana to improve to 4-3 in its last seven road games, a good stretch for a team that was 5-20 away from home before that.
One of those road wins came over Atlanta (25-39), and the Sixers have taken both meetings this season and seven of the last eight between the teams.
After dropping six straight, the Hawks have rebounded to win the first three of a four-game homestand, despite missing leading scorer Joe Johnson for all three contests.
Josh Smith stepped up with a career-high 32 points to help Atlanta beat Minnesota 99-93 on Saturday. The Hawks have won all three games by a combined 10 points.
"He's growing up right before our eyes," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said of Smith. "Tonight was huge. He's making basketball plays, but he still has a long way to go as a basketball player."
Johnson, who's averaging 25 points, bruised his right calf in a loss to Miami on March 5 and remains day-to-day. Josh Childress has made his first three starts of the season in Johnson's place and has averaged 16.5 points on 56.5 percent shooting in the last two games.
"You lose 25 points a game and you have to get them back somewhere," Childress said. "It depends on who's hot and who's making shots."