Sixers fully expect to struggle
NEW YORK - Nothing about the 76ers is surprising.
Not their poor three-point shooting, or struggling defense, or seven losses in eight games.
So there's no need to worry about the Sixers' morale.
They realize they will steal a few victories from time to time. They know they will suffer extended losing streaks and occasional blowout losses.
"That's the Philadelphia 76ers for 2013-14," coach Brett Brown said. "That's what I signed up for. And that's what these guys are aware of."
Brown acknowledged that it can become challenging. But he added that the Sixers (13-28) have "character people here."
"They will wake up tomorrow," Brown said, "we'll get dusted off, and go back at it again."
The unwavering attitude will be a bonus heading into Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
They are facing a Knicks squad that beat them, 102-92, on Jan. 11 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score may indicate. The Knicks have begun to climb back into contention at 15-26.
Evan Turner was limited to just six shots through three quarters at the Wells Fargo Center. Amar'e Stoudemire had his way with Spencer Hawes and anyone else who guarded him. And the Sixers managed only 12 points in the second quarter.
Turner has to be more aggressive if the Sixers expect to make things more competitive. The swingman averages a team-leading 18.3 points. But he scored just 12 points in the loss to the Knicks.
Meanwhile, Stoudemire came off the bench to finish with a game-high 21 points. The 6-foot-11, 245-pound power forward/center was unstoppable. Stoudemire had potent dunks on overmatched defenders and schooled them with hook shots around the basket.
"We understand the nature of this year's team," Brown said. "We just hope to gain some respect in the NBA fraternity, and mostly amongst ourselves. We want to be able to walk out holding our heads high."