If anyone would have been told prior to the season that the 76ers would split for the All-Star break with 20 or 21 wins, there would have been much satisfaction.
But perception is everything, and though the team enters tonight's game at the Houston Rockets with a 20-13 record they are also entering it having lost four games in a row and six of their last eight.
"I think the fact that we've had some injuries and with the schedule it's made it like a perfect storm kind of thing," said coach Doug Collins. "But I don't want to get lost the fact that our guys have worked their tails off and we're on top of the Atlantic Division. "I think if anybody would have said that going into the break we were going to be leading the Atlantic Division, and the answer is yes. But when you've lost some games it's the taste that you're feeling right now. I think our guys do need a chance to get away and refresh themselves."
Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala will be in Orlando for the All-Star festivities, with Turner playing in the Rookie Challenge game and Iguodala in the showcase event. Rookie Lavoy Allen is heading down to Orland "to support Even and Dre," but most of the players are just looking to get away from what has been a horrific grind.
Tonight against the Rockets, Collins said he will start Tony Battie at center to do battle with former Sixer Sam Dalembert. Last niight in Memphis, Collins started Andres Nocioni, but he played just six minutes in the first half before settling on the bench the rest of the night.
The Sixers will need some more production tonight from bench stars Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young, who shot a combined 5-for-24 in the loss to the Grizzlies.