Brett Brown was asked to put the 76ers’ 4-1 record against the Eastern Conference’s top teams into perspective.
“I think this team is designed for the playoffs,” the Sixers coach said after the 121-109 Christmas Day victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Wells Fargo Center. “I believe the road we have traveled so far has been a little bit erratic at times.”
But the Sixers do have a bunch of quality wins.
The Bucks have the NBA’s best record at 27-5. The Sixers, fourth in the East, won both of this season’s contests with the conference’s second-place Boston Celtics. And they split a pair of games against the third-place Miami Heat.
However, the Sixers (23-10) have played mostly to the level of their opponent. They also have a sub-.500 record on the road at 7-8.
Overall, they’ve been inconsistent and recently had deficiencies exposed against zone defenses.
But according to Tobias Harris, they knew before Wednesday’s victory that they could play with anybody.
“We were just talking about it," he said. "We can play with the best of them. But we’ve also fooled around a couple of games with some of the worst.”
He said it’s just a matter of the Sixers getting locked in and focused as a team.
“We have to play with that same type of energy when we are on the road, playing whoever,” he said. “So I think for us as a group, it’s maintaining that level and playing with that consistency night in, night out."
Matisse Thybulle missed his second game with a bone bruise and sprain of his left knee. The injury typically sidelines a player anywhere from two to four weeks. There’s a sense that the rookie could return after his two-week reevaluation.