It doesn't get any easier for reeling Sixers

Posted: March 18, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - It seemed like an obvious question, one that 76ers coach Brett Brown had to privately ponder once it became obvious his team might not win another game this season:

What does he realistically expect from the Sixers (15-51) heading into a rough stretch against Indiana (Monday), Chicago (Wednesday), New York (Friday), Chicago (Saturday), San Antonio (next Monday), and Houston (March 27)?

"I hope that we hold our heads high," Brown responded. "I hope that we come out swinging, and that we compete.

"Everyone is aware that we have the youngest team in the history of the sport."

People also are aware that the Sixers are closing in on the NBA record for consecutive losses (26) set by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers. They dropped their 20th straight on Saturday night, tying the franchise record set by the 1972-73 squad that finished with the worst record (9-73) in NBA history.

"Everybody is aware of all these records that people are all talking about," Brown said. "We don't live in that world. I think it's important for people to understand that. . . . Their morale is fine.

"It gets at times really challenging in my seat to make sure we remind them of the [rebuilding] world that we live in."

The Sixers have been leaning on Thaddeus Young's leadership and the promise of rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the favorite to be rookie of the year. The 6-foot-6, 180-pounder averaged 17.8 points on 48.3 percent shooting in the last four games. He had averaged 11.6 points on 29.2 percent shooting in the five games before that. The 11th overall pick out of Syracuse, however, also averaged 4.7 turnovers over the last 18 games.

"People talk all about, 'Oh, you know, he's going to get bad habits and get used to losing,' " Brown said. "That is just so - in my opinion - naive and far from the truth. You can point right across the board with these teams that had to grow something and they had lots of 20-win seasons."

One example is MVP favorite Kevin Durant, who played on a 20-62 Seattle squad his rookie season in 2008-09. In his second season, the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and finished 23-59. The swingman led the Thunder to the NBA Finals two seasons ago.

Just as Durant did in his rookie season, Carter-Williams is trying to remain positive.

New Sixer

The Sixers signed James Nunnally to a 10-day contract on Sunday, according to a league source. They released reserve point guard Eric Maynor to make room on the 15-man roster.

Nunnally is a 6-foot-7 forward for the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League. The Sixers acquired Maynor from Washington in a three-team trade Feb. 20. He averaged 3.8 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 turnovers in eight games with the Sixers, who owe him a $2.1 million player option for next season.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

inquirer.com/deepsixer

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