Robert Covington says the 76ers are still trying to figure things out.
Including Joel Embiid, who has been sidelined the last two seasons, the Sixers have eight new players. That's why Covington pointed out that they haven't played a lot of basketball together. It sure doesn't help when Nerlens Noel (left knee) and two of those newcomers - Ben Simmons (right foot) and Jerry Bayless (left wrist) - remain sidelined with injuries.
"We see a lot of what we are capable of," said Covington, a small forward. "It's just a matter of time before all things come together and we start clicking on all cylinders. Then we'll get this thing rolling."
Time will tell just how accurate his prediction is. Right now, it's hard to imagine things being much worse for the 1-9 Sixers.
They lacked effort Monday in a 115-88 setback to the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. It was their second straight defeat and their fourth loss of 21 or more points. The Sixers had opportunities to win three of their other losses, but a glaring inability to close out games denied them of those opportunities.
It doesn't help that the Sixers were ranked 29th in opponents field-goal percentage at 47.3 heading into Tuesday night's NBA games. Nor does it help that they were ranked 27th in both foul shooting at 72.4 percent and points per game (95.6). The Sixers were ranked 26th in the league in field-goal percentage (42.5), turnovers (17.3), opponents three-point percentage (36.9) and opponents scoring (108.9).
The losses are mounting. Gerald Henderson was asked how the Sixers remain positive amid what could be their fourth straight 60-plus-loss season.
"It isn't about me or anyone staying positive," said the guard, who signed a free-agent deal with the Sixers in the summer. "You just have to stick to what we know is going to win. It's not just about staying positive when there's bad stuff that's going on out there."
The bad stuff he's referring to was the Sixers' effort Monday, when some players basically stopped fighting.
The Sixers now turn their attention to Wednesday night's game against the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. On paper, that's a winnable game. The Wizards are a disappointing 2-7 after a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
Washington was without its starting backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Wall rested his surgically repaired knee on the second night of back-to-back games. Beal was sidelined for the second straight game with hamstring tightness after slipping on a wet spot in the Wizards' Nov. 9 win against the Boston Celtics.
Beal is listed as questionable Wednesday. Even if doesn't play, one can assume the Sixers will have a tough time trying to contain Wall.
The all-star point guard is averaging 22.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.1 steals. He's had four double-doubles this season. Turnovers are his Achilles' heel, though. He averages 5.4 per game.
"We do have some good, talented guys and good young guys, and we have enough to be able to compete better than we are," Henderson said. ". So we just need to give better effort."
The Sixers assigned Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Delaware 87ers, their NBA Development League affiliate, on Tuesday. The assignment was made so he could get in a full practice and scrimmage while the Sixers had the day off.
The Sixers drafted Luwawu-Cabarrot with the 24th overall pick in June's draft. The 6-foot-6 guard has made seven appearances, averaging 1.1 points and 4.6 minutes.