WASHINGTON Brett Brown can live with the thousands of missed shots he’s seen over his two plus seasons as the head of the 76ers. Missed defensive assignments, turnovers and brain cramps annoy him, but won’t deflate the coach. There is only one area Brown won’t tolerate with his young club, and that’s when they fail to compete. Cheap Jerseys from china Talent will win out most nights, and the Sixers rarely will be favored in that battle. But to give away games because of a dispirited effort, that will cost the coach more than a few nights of sleep.
He witnessed it in Wednesday’s 38 point home loss to Atlanta. He didn’t expect to see it at all Friday against the host Washington Wizards. His team proved him wrong, and quickly.
Washington went wherever it wanted in the lane in the first quarter, with little resistance at all from the Sixers, and cruised out to a 38 18 lead after 12 minutes in what eventually became a 106 94 win. It was only the second win in seven games for the Wizards (22 26).
“I’m at an age and a stage where that’s the only thing that matters to me,” Brown said of his team playing competitively. “When you talk about drafting somebody, trading somebody, retaining somebody, you can go all over the place. To me, the single ingredient that links the great players that I’ve been around is (being) competitive. Sometimes you can quantify that by, do you rebound. Sometimes it’s a gut feel of just running back. Do people get back in transition defense? There’s things you can chart with deflections. There’s things you can chart with just being physical. If you don’t compete way, way, way, way more than you don’t, then you’re struggling. It’s now how we view the world.”
He might want to view his team’s play with a blindfold moving forward.
The Sixers finally showed some life after the first. Though Washington built the lead to 25 in the third, the Sixers used an 18 4 spurt and pulled to within 10 at the end of the third, but couldn’t get much closer for the rest of the game in falling to 7 43.
“They’re trying to play for a playoff position and that’s what we’re going to see from now on,” said guard Ish Smith, who tweaked his ankle late in the game. “We have to come out and be competitive and know that these teams are going to try and swing at us early and try to knock us out. With the exception of that first quarter, we were unbelievable.
Smith paced the Sixers with 22 points, to go with five rebounds and five assists. Isaiah Canaan came off the bench to score 18 for the Sixers, who were torched for 58 points in the paint by Washington.
John Wall had a triple double for the Wizards, posting 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 21 to go with 13 rebounds, while Bradley Beal deposited 22.
“We started the game poorly and dug ourselves a hole in that 38 point first period,” Brown said. “Then we, for sure, competed. The start of the third let us down a little bit, but the large body of work for that game, I’m proud of their effort.
“You look at (Wall) and he just keeps getting better and better and better. He’s great for the league. He’s an All Star for sure.