Michael Carter-Williams has stayed hot even though his team has cooled off. Credit: Getty Images
None of this was unexpected.
Before the season began, oddsmakers in Las Vegas had the 76ers’ win total as low as 16. That would have meant a 16-66 record, but the Sixers stunned the Heat on opening night and won their first three games.
However, they’re 4-15 since the 3-0 start.
Most experts didn’t believe the Sixers would have seven victories by now, but when you’re mired in a frustrating stretch, it’s easy to get down. Not first-year coach Brett Brown. He understood the situation when he accepted the job. He knew there would be potholes along the way.
“I really enjoy coaching this group,” Brown said. “The challenge at times keeps you up late at night and makes you second guess and makes you reassess — all those human things. But I really like my job and I am excited about the challenge. There are only a handful of times — a very, very tiny handful of times — where you feel embarrassed, when the team has played poorly, the defense isn’t at a level.
“By and large, our team has played a style of play and played, I think, with an aggression that I am proud of.”
The Sixers have been knocked around a little bit, like their 37-point loss Nov. 16 at New Orleans. For the most part, the Sixers have been competitive. That’s saying something with the current roster.
Philadelphia’s roster could be tweaked soon as reports have surfaced linking forward Thaddeus Young to the Houston Rockets in a trade for Omer Asik, who asked to be dealt for the second time.
“I think it would be very hard [to leave], seeing as this has been the only place I’ve been in my career,” said Young, who is in his seventh season and is the longest-tenured member of the Sixers. “It would definitely be something to adjust to.”
There are still 60 games to be played this season and the losses are likely to accumulate.
“We’re going to fight and scrap and claw like we always have,” Thaddeus Young said. “We’re a competitive group and we’re out there to win. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got in every practice and in every game. That’s what you do as a professional athlete. The results may not always turn out in our favor but we’re going to give it 100 percent.”