The Sixers and Spurs battled it out in the best game of the NBA season restart so far on Monday, and Philadelphia, while its mettle was tested, gutted it out and got a much-needed win.
But it didn’t come easy.
The start of the fourth quarter was looking good for the team, as the Sixers took a 12-point lead into the game’s final stanza. But a poor defensive showing down the stretch saw the Spurs take the lead late, and San Antonio clung to a two-point lead with roughly 10 seconds to play. A huge three-pointer by Shake Milton in the game’s waning seconds swung the tide, though, and the Sixers emerged victorious.
Still, head coach Brett Brown isn’t letting the team off the hook for their poor defense down the stetch.
“I think it stinks,” he said Monday in a video conference call, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think it’s not anything that we are or believe in or talk about. We were very lucky to win tonight. … The good news is it is well within our reach immediately to flip the switch. We need to have an immediate paradigm shift and an admittance that we can’t afford to pick and choose. And in the last two games we have done that.
“I give credit to Indiana, and certainly the Spurs tonight — those guys scored. Their three scorers scored. But in general, it ain’t going to get it done. It’s not who we are and it needs to be fixed, and fixed it will be. And it needs to start with the mentality, and I know our players understand that. It’s not like that speech I just gave is a mystery. They’re smart enough to know it to be true.”
Brown appears well aware that if the team doesn’t make a deep run in the playoffs, he could be relieved of his duties in the near future, so there’s a lot riding on these next few months for him and the team.