HOUSTON – Perhaps 76ers coach Brett Brown is doing his best to keep his players’ morale up in a tough stretch.
He was a glass-half-full type following Friday night’s 118-108 loss to the Houston Rockets. Brown said he liked the team’s spirit in what was its fourth consecutive loss and seventh in 10 games. And he shrugged off a question about whether he was concerned about losing affecting the Sixers’ morale.
“I think they’re smart enough to know that we have talent in that room and that it’s a good league,” Brown said. “Losing in Houston is no disgrace. Good days will add up. I think the character will prevail.”
The Sixers (23-14) haven’t had a lot of good days on the court recently, aside from their thrilling Christmas Day victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. A team that was a preseason favorite to win the NBA title continues to underachieve and be exposed.
Initially, Brown said it would take until after Christmas for his team to figure things out. Well, it’s past New Year’s, and nothing has improved.
The Sixers have actually taken a step backward, dropping to fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Following the road loss Tuesday to the Indiana Pacers, Josh Richardson spoke of the team’s lack of accountability in the locker room. Then, during the loss to the Rockets, the Sixers displayed terrible body language. Their spacing was again poor as they became stagnant on offense. At times, they looked more like a group of individuals than a team.
“I just think what helps that is if we continue to move more on the floor, continue to make plays for one another and do the little things for our teammate," Tobias Harris said. "That’s something that we have to get better at, and that’s something we have to fight through.
"We have a lot of talent, but at the same time, we’ve got to all figure out how to mesh our talents together and make it work for the better good.”
They also have to figure out a way to snap this losing streak. The Sixers host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. It should be another tough test.
The Thunder improved to 20-15 after Saturday’s 121-106 road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have won five straight and nine of 10.
Ben Simmons talked about staying locked in and the players’ not being distant from one another.