Team play is lacking, Sixers coach says

Sixers coach Brett Brown said his team abandoned team ball in the second half after shooting 77.3 percent in the first quarter against Minnesota.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said his team abandoned team ball in the second half after shooting 77.3 percent in the first quarter against Minnesota. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 14, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS - The most important moments of the 76ers' loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves were also the most hazardous.

Trying to hold off the hard-charging Timberwolves, the Sixers shrank to the moment after halftime and forgot all about playing team ball. Instead of finding the open man, they often drove the lane and forced things.

They blew a 19-point lead in the 106-99 defeat Wednesday at the Target Center.

The Sixers made just 5 of 15 shots and committed six costly turnovers in the fourth quarter.

"It's really hard to candy-coat it or spice it up better to say it: If you are playing in a crowd, you have problem," said coach Brett Brown, whose squad shot 77.3 percent while sharing the ball in the first quarter. "You know we had 15 assists in the first half and seven in the second. We had 39 points in the first quarter and 38 in the second half.

"There's a disconnect. And you know we need to address it."

That's the next challenge for Brown with the Sixers (7-16) facing the Toronto Raptors on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors (7-13) shipped Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday in return for swingman and Philly native John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson.

A victory over the Raptors would be a huge boast for the struggling Sixers.

The Sixers have lost four straight games and eight of their last nine. They are also 1-9 on the road, with nine straight losses. A victory would enable them to avenge a 108-98 setback to the Raptors on Nov. 20 at the Wells Fargo Center.

"We need to share the ball," Brown said.

"It spills over to other areas where you rotate for each other, where you help for each other. You pick somebody off the floor. You acknowledge an assist. You huddle after a free throw."

Toy collection

The Sixers will host their annual toy drive when they play the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Fans who bring at least one new, unwrapped toy will receive a Sixers' autograph after the game.

The toys will be donated to North Children's Services, a permanent and transitional home for foster children.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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