Sixers' 45-point loss a teaching tool

Posted: February 12, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. - If the 76ers were a group of boxers, the blood still would have been oozing out last night from all the damage they received on Sunday night at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The NBA schedule shows no mercy and Sixers coach Brett Brown wasn't looking for any. In fact, he was happy that his team was back on the floor to face the Golden State Warriors fewer than 24 hours after Sunday's 123-78 shellacking.

"We definitely talk about it, I think it's a great learning example," Brown said. "It reminds me of a game that you can't arrest. How do you handle a lot of really good athletes, a bunch of players who really came out defensively and jumped us and ran out of it? How do you deal with it as a team? What are you going to do offensively? We have to combat the emotion. We talk a lot about that.

"It's something that you just can't dust off and pretend it didn't happen. The thing I most tell them is you keep your head up and we don't want anyone feeling sorry for us. We put in a lot of work. Be proud of that and move on. I think the group has done that. It's a good group.

"I'd rather get going. I'm thrilled that we're going to play tonight. That was a surreal environment that we were playing in [Sunday] night. We want to get going. We're a lot better than we showed. We feel like we want to get back on the court."

Whether it's the proverbial rookie wall or just a bit of a slump, Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams has been having his problems of late. Williams sat out a game at Detroit on Feb. 1 due to shoulder soreness. In the ensuing four games heading into last night, he shot 20-for-63 (31.7 percent), turned the ball over 22 times (including eight against the Clippers) and registered just three steals. After Sunday's loss in Los Angeles, Carter-Williams used the word "slump" to describe his play and said that he would just have to find a way to battle through it.

"He has the ability to make plays," said Golden State coach Mark Jackson. "He has a toughness, great size, he competes, he's an improved shooter and he's having a phenomenal year. They really picked a gem in him.

"You always hear about the rookie wall and I was a rookie point guard and I never hit it. I think that was because I grew up in New York City, playing all year-round. I can't speak on his behalf, I just think that you have to take care of your body because this is a long season. Whether you're a rookie or a veteran, it is going to catch up to you if you don't take care of your body and if you want to continue to play at a high level. He got hurt a little bit, but I think he's bounced back and will continue to play at a high level."

The numbers may look a little slight, but that doesn't matter to Mark Jackson. When he looks at the contributions of former Sixer Andre Iguodala, it isn't the number under the scoring average that concerns him.

"I think people get it twisted, wanting him to be a scorer," Jackson said. "That's not who he is. And the teams that have had him a full year are well aware that's not who he is. You cannot ask somebody to be something that he is not. We didn't go get him to score 20 points. We got him to be a facilitator, a playmaker, a defender, a rebounder, an extra ballhandler. And there are times where he's been brilliant at that for us this year. We want him to be aggressive offensively, but in saying that you have to realize who he is. At his best, he's going to be very valuable to our basketball team."

For the season, Iguodala is averaging 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He celebrated his 30th birthday 2 weeks ago and is in his first season with the Warriors after eight seasons with the Sixers and one with Denver.

After turning an ankle in Sunday's loss to the Clippers, swingman Hollis Thompson was out last night . . . The Sixers will face the Utah Jazz tomorrow and then disperse for the All-Star break. They return to action next Tuesday when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers . . . The Warriors were giving out Wilt Chamberlain bobbleheads last night.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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