Effortless loss for Sixers

STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Sixers' Jrue Holiday loses ball against Pistons in first quarter.
STEVEN M. FALK / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Sixers' Jrue Holiday loses ball against Pistons in first quarter.
Posted: November 16, 2012

'WE BACKED down."

Those were the words of point guard Jrue Holiday after his team's 94-76 loss to the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center.

That's not good in any aspect of life, let alone on an NBA court when you're facing a team that hadn't won in eight outings. Detroit came ready to fight and the Sixers did what Holiday said.

When asked if he thought it was scary to face the winless Detroit Pistons, 76ers big man Spencer Hawes said, "There are 30 scary teams in the NBA." Wednesday the Sixers' performance was downright frightening.

They set a franchise record for lowest field-goal percentage in a game at 29.8 percent (25 of 84). They got outrebounded by the Pistons, 57-38. In fact, Detroit post players Greg Monroe (18) and Jason Maxiell (12) had almost as many rebounds as the Sixers. Somehow the home team tied a floor record for least amount of turnovers in a game at four, but protecting the basketball may have been the only area of the game they cared about.

"It's frustrating, I think that was pretty apparent," said Hawes, who scored five points and grabbed two rebounds in more than 15 minutes of play. "There's no excuse for the effort, or lack thereof, that we came out with tonight. We've got some stuff to work on to get ready for this game on Friday."

While the Pistons big-brothered the smaller Sixers all over the court, Friday will offer a bigger challenge as an even more physical team, the Utah Jazz, will visit. Still, after the effort against Detroit, the Sixers can't worry about an opponent. They need to focus all attention on themselves.

"We got beat on the boards by 19," said coach Doug Collins. "I was just talking to [president] Rod [Thorn], [owner] Josh [Harris] and [general manager] Tony [DiLeo] and in their words it's one of the few times since I've been the coach of this team that we played with a lack of effort. I have no idea [why]. We had a great practice [Tuesday]. We were playing against a team that was desperate, 0-8. They are much better than their record, but I have no idea why. I don't know how many times I asked the coaches on the sideline what's going on. I have no idea. We were in slow motion. If we think that team is physical, wait till Utah comes in here.

"If you look at it we don't have much size on our front line. Kwame [Brown] came back and gave us some minutes but we're small. We just don't have much physicality."

They also didn't have any shooting touch, which is quite puzzling as there are many players on the team who can score. For some reason they can't seem to find their collective strokes. And when deficits grow, the basket seems to shrink. Add to that the inability to dump the ball down low and look for an easy basket and it equals a dismal offensive showing.

As much as they have to find their shooting, the Sixers also need to find some sort of fight and energy.

"It just has to come from us," said Holiday, who scored 12 points, dealt seven assists and pulled six rebounds. "We can't blame anybody - we can't blame the crowd, we can't blame our coach. Sometimes you just have to look in the mirror. The only one to blame is ourselves.

"It's discouraging. When you see somebody's beating up on you or punking you, you're supposed to hit back. We didn't have that and then after a while we tried to [hit back] and everything was going their way. They got every loose ball, every shot that they put up went in."

Combine a good shooting night for the opponents (47.9 percent) and an inability to rebound and the Sixers can't get to their bread and butter, which is to run. They scored just 11 fastbreak points.

"Rebound," said Holiday. "We're getting defensive stops. They're missing jump shots, they're missing layups, we were playing pretty good defense. It wasn't even a 100-point game. We just need to get rebounds."

Not just. Wednesday proved that there are a lot of areas that need improvement, starting with the effort.

"They came out tonight and executed," said Collins. "They were bigger, stronger, knocked us around."

" @BobCooney76

Blog: philly.com/Sixerville

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