Somewhere, John Chaney is cringing.
The legendary Temple coach was a Hall of Famer for a myriad of reasons. His teams always played defense and limited their turnovers. Watching Chaney after a Temple player committed a turnover was painful. He simply despised giving the ball away to the other team and he demanded excellence in that regard.
Can you imagine how Chaney must have felt seeing the 76ers commit a whopping 27 turnovers in a 92-86 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center?
The Sixers were sloppy from beginning to end and it resulted in their 11th straight loss to open the 2015-16 season. The losing skid has reached 21 overall, considering the Sixers dropped their final 10 games last season.
Philadelphia’s last win came at Denver on March 25. The last home win was five days earlier on March 20.
The Indiana Pacers visit Philadelphia tonight. It’s the last home game this month for the Sixers.
“We're not going to be Temple back when coach Chaney coached,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “I wish we were. We're going to live with it a little. I am thrilled with our defense. I think that there is a toughness that we're showing. There's an attitude where we get down and we're just not going away. We did it ugly (Monday). And we still found a way to get back in it. But to concede is hard for me. I don't expect us to have six turnovers with this group.”
The Mavericks didn’t play at their usual high level for the entire game. Dirk Nowitzki, a 13-time All-Star, scored 21 points but shot 6-for-16. Point guard Deron Williams was 3-for-10 for 12 points. Chandler Parsons scored 20 points but sat out most of the second half.
As poorly as the Sixers performed, a win was within their grasp. Wins are just so hard to come by these days.
“Our defense was good enough,” Brown said. “Our rebounding was good enough (46-39 in favor of Philadelphia). And we had the most bizarre first half I think I've coached since I've been here. Incredible that it was that margin, five points. I thought it was one of the ugliest games I've seen in my life. But there we were. We were down 19 and we found a way to get back in it.”
Then it slipped away. Again. For the 21st straight time.
It’s almost Thanksgiving and the Sixers are the last team in the league without a victory.
“The end result is the end result and I'll say it's impossible to overcome that, given where we're at,” Brown said. “You can't have 27 turnovers.”
Point guard T.J. McConnell scored a career-best 13 points and added seven rebounds and six assists for the undermanned Sixers. While he continues to prove his mettle in an NBA uniform, the losses keep adding up.
“We were right there knocking on the door,” McConnell said. “We just couldn’t finish it.”
So the skid continues.