By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Sixers are enjoying a few days off from game action, they won’t return to the court until Wednesday night when they host Charlotte.
The 76ers are 12-25 on the season, and while that is obviously not a record to write home about, it looks a lot better when you consider there are some who thought they would struggle to win 12 games all season.
First-year head coach Brett Brown breaks down his young team as the season approaches the halfway point.
“I’m proud of them,” Brown tells KYW Newsradio. “To go find wins with the group that we have, to beat the best team at that stage in the West in Portland on the road (101-99 on January 4th), or grab home wins against the Chicago Bulls (107-104 on November 2nd), the Miami Heat (114-100 on opening night, October 30th) or the Houston Rockets (123-117 in overtime on November 13th). Those are some big wins. Beating Denver on the road (114-102 on January 1st)was a big win. The group, to their credit, incredibly to me, stays together, stays strong. We’ve taken some hits, we’ve experienced some big losses. We knew it was going to happen, to live it and breathe it when it actually does happen is hard. And I give our group credit where they have stayed together. I’m proud of their practice efforts. I’m proud of their attention to detail in film sessions. We’re trying to build a culture, build a young group along. I think that they’ve exceeded my expectations and they’ve particularly exceeded them in relation to their work ethic and their chemistry.”
Since winning a season high four games in a row out west, including those victories over the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets, the 76ers have dropped four straight. Brown talks about what’s been lacking over the last week.
“I think you realize quickly, the margin for error with our group is tiny,” Brown says. “We missed some bodies with Tony Wroten [missed a couple games due to illness] and Lavoy Allen [missed last two games with a calf injury]. I think we had some subpar performances from our three sort of more senior players in Spencer [Hawes] and Evan [Turner] and Thaddeus [Young], who had been playing extremely well. And we’ve got a bench that is very young and their resumes confirm their experience in the NBA. Maybe a little fatigue, some of it I’ve got to do a better job. I think it’s just a combination of a bunch of things that saw a decline in our performance.”
The Sixers will try to snap their losing streak on Wednesday against a Charlotte team that first will host the Knicks on Tuesday night before coming to Philadelphia. The Bobcats are 15-23 and they have lost 8 of 9.
“I think you’re going to see a team that really guards hard,” Brown says. “They are trying to get back in the hunt for the playoffs. They’ve been in a down stretch for the past two weeks. I just think you’re going to see a physical game.”
The Bobcats beat the 76ers in their first meeting on December 6th, 105-88, in Charlotte.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.