Vander Blue went 5 for 9 from the floor with 15 points Thursday in a losing effort to the Bobcats. (USA Today Images)
Granted, the Sixers did not play three of their starters in Thursday’s game against the Bobcats, but a 110-84 loss to a team that won 21 games last year is an indication of just how far this young team is from being where it needs to be to compete nightly.
“With us being a young team we tend to get out of character and let teams rattle us a bit,” Thaddeus Young said. “We have a lot of guys that are new to this and they don’t know yet but things will change with time and experience.”
Young joined Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes on the bench Thursday. The drop in talent from the starters to the bench is significant, but Brett Brown won’t be tempted to play his starters for monster minutes until the games count for real. There is a plan in place, and he will adhere to it no matter how tough the road gets.
“There needs to be respect on delivering these guys to the end of the year where they are fresh and still playing good basketball,” Brown said. “You can’t put them at risk. It places a premium on recovery, fitness -- that is what we started and that is what we will see through. I don’t feel the need to panic when I see that youth.”
Brown has 14 players averaging between 18 and 33 minutes this preseason. It will be interesting to see how deep his rotation stays when the regular season gets underway on Oct. 30.
Brown knew when he signed up for this job he was taking on an extremely inexperienced roster that needs lots of coaching.
His team has lost its previous two games by a combined 56 points. Yes, it is preseason but such defeats can beat players down.
Brown knows it is his job to keep the atmosphere upbeat.
“It is not going to be a fake relationship, it is not going to be a false environment,” Brown explained. “It is real. We have to get better, end of story. There were times Thursday that you show them this was fantastic. We are making strides. I knew what I signed up for and I am excited to coach these guys.”
“Coach has done a great job from the beginning having that attitude that we are trying to build,” Hawes said. “He stresses not to get caught up in the results at least so far. It is human nature, but the encouragement coming from them makes it a little easier.”