A loss just wouldn't have felt right. Entering the all-star break on a two-game losing streak didn't seem appropriate, not considering the 76ers' record in the previous 40 games (now 24-16). And the Sixers didn't lose, rebounding from an early 12-point deficit to defeat the Houston Rockets, 114-105.
In the locker room afterward, the talk was about looking forward to the season's final 24 games. Sixers coach Doug Collins talked to his guys about embracing the thought that this isn't just a "surprise" run, that they haven't played above their caliber, but rather this is exactly where they belong.
Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday explained the post-game, pre-all-star-break talk: “He kind of said with this record [24-16] we’re one of the best teams in the league. So we need to think that way. And he’s right.”
Said Andre Iguodala: “Just coming back knowing that we’re a good team. It’s not just about, ‘We’re surprising people,’ but we have to start believing that we are a really good team. And the last 40 games we’ve shown that we can compete with anybody.”
Collins said he tried to "plant that seed" of thought for the next five days of break: “For our guys to continue to think … about what’s ahead, be proud of what we’ve done over the last 40 games, but what’s ahead of us. And what’s ahead of us is opportunity.”
Embedded below, there should be a 90-second video of Collins' post-game availability. Also, if you'd like to follow on Twitter, you can do so here: Deep Sixer. One week before the next game and about the same amount of time before the NBA trading deadline. Should be an interesting week.
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