Philadelphia 76ers playing with no heart

Heading in to the 2013-2014 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers’ organization knew the troubles that stood ahead of them based on the team that they assembled.   At this point in the season, it cannot come to a surprise that the team is 23 games under .500 and has the second worst record overall. 

For 76ers fans, most of them are probably okay with the fact that the team is doing so poorly in hopes of getting one of the top picks in the upcoming draft.  At this moment, the 76ers securing a top three pick in the draft appears to be a sure thing.

Currently, the team is in the worst stretch of their season as they have lost seven straight games and have only been competitive in two of them.  In the other five games, they lost by more than 10 points and allowed their opponents to score well over 110 points.

As if the 76ers season could not get any worse, their previous two games were the worst the NBA has seen in about 20 years. 

On Sunday evening, they lost to the high-powered Los Angeles Clippers by a score of 123-78.  Then the next night, they followed it up with another clunker as they lost to the Golden State Warriors by the score of 123-80.

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A team has only lost by 40 points in back-to-back games one other time in NBA history.   This was back in the 1994 season and the team it happened to was the 76ers.

Now that ESPN has made it known about the failures this franchise has suffered, they more than likely are the laughing stock of the NBA.  With their play of late, they deserve whatever negative attention they are receiving.

It is hard to begin with the problems this team has faced in the past couple of weeks.  One problem that they all share as a unit is the lack of pride they have on the court.

Brett Brown has been teaching his team throughout the year and continues to do so.  One thing that the coach cannot teach is the fight and energy that the team plays with on a daily basis.

Lately, the 76ers have played with no heart and appear to be disinterested in getting any better.  They are aware of where they stand at this point and seems like they don’t mind getting embarrassed each night.

If they fall behind early to a team, there is no one on the court who can rally the team together to lead a comeback.  If they look up at the scoreboard and see they are down 10, they almost never have an answer to get themselves back in the game. 

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All teams (good or bad) need to come out of every game with something to build on for the next game.  Right now, the 76ers have nothing positive that they can seem to wrap their arms around.

Early in the year, their offense was something that they appeared to take pride in.  Now, they can’t do anything on the offensive end.

Combining the past two games against Los Angeles and Golden State, they shot only 32% from the floor and only had 60 total field goals made.  The three point shooting was non-existent as they were 3-28 on Sunday and 2-17 last night. 

They continue to take forced and rushed shots and many times will result in a miss or a blocked shot.  This has been typical as of late as the 76ers opponents lead the league in blocked shots per game at 7.5.

The team is still turning the ball over as a result of their sloppy play.  Instead of running back on defense, they get frustrated with themselves and then let up easy fast break points on the other end. 

Brett Brown is trying to remain optimistic about the whole situation by trying to acknowledge the positives in their games.  However, he knows that there are little positives after losing back-to-back games by over 40 points.

The frustration is even mounting with the veterans on the team.  Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young got off to great starts this year, but the team struggles have rubbed off on them as well.

These two have been the 76ers go to guys this season, but neither of them appear to be in any kind of rhythm recently.  Both have had to deal with trade talks throughout the year which can be a reason for their struggles, but the team needs them if they hope to turn this around.

Even though Turner and Young are fairly young, they are two of the oldest players on the team.  The rest of the 76ers squad is going to rely heavily on these two in hopes of making the team better.

Their games remaining as 76ers may be limited, but while they are here, they have to be the ones that inspire this team.  The leadership they possess is vital to the growth of each of these young players.

If each one of them shows fight when the team is down, their effort should rub off on the rest of the team to hopefully motivate a comeback.  But if they hang their heads and accept defeat, the others will do the same.

From a skill standpoint, the 76ers are certainly at the bottom of the league.  The effort and energy that the team shows has nothing to do with how skilled they are. 

If they try to show some more heart during these games, they will be more competitive and can stay in most of these ball games.  If they choose not to play with any fight, expect more losses of over 20 points.

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