The Sixers know what they're up against.
They can tie their longest losing streak in franchise history with a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at Wells Fargo Center.
And the possibility of that streak extending all the way through to the end of the year is very real.
“Any win that we have going forward would be considered an upset,” Brett Brown said before Saturday’s game. “That is just the way it has played out at this stage and that is true.
“We have no margin for error. A missed box out, playing in a crowd and not seeing a teammate, not managing the clock well -- all those tiny things are going to influence whether we win or we lose.”
Brown has never experienced futility of this magnitude anywhere in his career. He doesn’t like losing, nor does he accept it, but he also does not let it define who he is or how he goes about his job.
“I work as hard as I can with my staff,” Brown said. “I love coaching my guys. This is basketball. Let’s put this in perspective: We do our job as hard and as best we can. Life moves on. We have bigger things that we are all here for.
“This is not slit-your-wrist time. This is not even close to that. This is about building a program and understanding the short-term pain for a lot of long-term gain.”
The 1972-73 Sixers hold the franchise record for consecutive losses, with 20. The Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2010-11 season lost 26 straight games, the most ever in NBA history.
Brown is repeatedly asked if a losing atmosphere will adversely affect the likes of Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young or any of the other players the Sixers deem as keepers.
“That is the en vogue angle,” Brown said. “I think if you ask Kevin Durant about the 20-win season he had, he seems to be doing just fine. I think when you look at those teams that have had a chance to rebuild, losing is a long-gone memory.
“To truly rebuild and grow something is going to take three to five years. That is just the way it goes. It is too talented a league and too well-coached. The experiences we are going through now will be distant memories when these guys start getting older. They will find positives in this season and Michael Carter-Williams will be better for it.”