I know most people feel there are no important NBA games until April, maybe March. And that may be true. But I'm going to have to say I think tonight's game is a key one for these 76ers. Remarkably enough, the Sixers haven't won back-to-back games since beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 30 and the New York Knicks on Oct. 31.

This morning at shoot around, in advance of tonight's game against the 14-16 Sacramento Kings, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan was asked, looking back on the first 30 games of this season, what his biggest disappointment has been. Jordan said: "I'm not disappointed. I'm a positive, encouragement coach, I told the team that the other day. I'm not here to beat you guys up, I'm here to coach you, encourage you and show you the benefits of playing the right way. And I knew it was going to be a progression, a gradual progression … you have to go through a little struggle to make sure your roots are planted in the ground to be sure you're stronger when the season comes at the end."

Sixers point guard Lou Williams said: "We haven’t packed it in yet; we feel like we can put a run together and I think last game was a good start for us, to beat a good Portland team to come in tonight and play another good, young team will be another challenge for us. We just try to put games together and get ourselves back in contention.

A minute later, Williams continued: "We’ve never been a team to quit; we’ve never had a group of guys that quit on each other and we don’t plan on starting it now because we’ve gotten off to a slow start. And that’s how we look at it, we look at it as a slow start. We don’t think we’re a bad team, we think we’re a talented good team that can compete with anyone."

If this team has turned a corner -- and they did look very good on Monday night against the Portland Traiblazers -- then they win this game tonight against the Kings.


p.s. We're all aware this has been a disaster of a first 30 games for the Sixers. We could go on and on about the negatives of this team -- and we have been, specifically on this blog -- but that gets a little tiresome. If they lose tonight, I'll be the first to post about the lack of "gradual progression."