Sinking Sixers work to shore up defense

Posted: December 04, 2013

Reality has set in for the 76ers since their 3-0 start, but coach Brett Brown says he won't try to change the team's style, only its execution.

The Sixers will take a 6-12 record into Tuesday's game against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center. Brown's team has lost four consecutive games and 10 of the last 12, including a 115-100 loss Sunday at Detroit.

The biggest need for improvement is on defense.

The Sixers entered Monday ranked ninth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 103 points per game. They were 30th (last) in scoring defense, allowing 110.1 points per game.

For now, the Sixers will continue to play the transition game on offense while Brown hopes they do a better job of getting back on defense.

"I want to persevere with this style of playing because with the group that we have, the talent base and the experience, we are not going to beat those teams that we have beaten playing any other way," Brown said Monday after practice.

Translation: The Sixers don't have enough good players to beat teams straight-up in a half-court game, so they must hope for easier baskets in transition.

Turnovers have not helped. The Sixers are averaging 17.8 per game, second worst in the league behind Houston.

Brown continues to exhibit patience, though.

"I always wish we picked things up quicker," he said. "Maybe I have to teach it better."

"We have to take better shots [and] move the ball, and it leads to better defense on our end," said rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who is averaging 7.1 assists but 3.43 turnovers per game.

As the Sixers try to improve, the losses continue to mount.

"It's hard not to talk about the negativity, but that is what we're faced with," said Thaddeus Young, who is averaging 15.8 points and 6.9 rebounds. "That is life, and we have to try to turn the negatives into positives."

Nelson's status

Former Chester High and St. Joseph's star Jameer Nelson has a sprained left foot. He will be in Philadelphia, but he is questionable for the game, according to a Magic official. Nelson did not play in Orlando's game Monday in Washington.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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