DENVER – Out with the old, in with the new. That is how most view the calendar turning from one year to the next, as it will this evening.
People look back and contemplate what they accomplished, what was left undone, and possibly what can be done better.
Evan Turner, who is now in his fourth NBA season, thinks about all the above, but he is also amazed at the passing of time.
“It is already 2014. I remember when it was 2000. I was in my prime,” Turner said.
He often refers to being 12 years old as the prime of his playing career.
“You just have to make some New Year’s resolutions,” Turner continued on a more serious note. “I have been trying to read every single day. I am also going to try and control my temper a little better.”
Those are two worthy resolutions for the Sixers' leading scorer.
As for Brett Brown, Dec. 31 is not a day to reflect any more than Dec. 30 or Jan. 1.
“Life moves so fast, it moves faster for me this year probably than it ever has in the past," Brown said. “Time for reflection isn’t so much because of what a calendar tells you but because of my job and my nature you are always reflecting, like this trip. What do we want to get out of these five games? We want to grab wins, show it and build on it and talk about it so that we cannot be so scattered.
“The reflection is more just what you do. Periods of a season, middle third, five-game road trip all that."
Brown’s team is 9-20 going into their third game of their five-game West Coast swing, which they are 1-1 on so far. They will play the Nuggets Wednesday night, a team that has dropped seven games in a row but won 57 games a year ago.
Brown understands that he and his team head into 2014 having established an identity, one that they adhere to and outsiders have come to admire.
“We came in trying to build a culture and create a system and coach new guys and bring new guys in as a team,” Brown assessed. “I am proud of where we are at to just be thrown together for just the last three and a half months. To lead the NBA in pace, to be among the top few in the paint, we set out to do that from day one and we have done that.”
The Sixers are the second-highest scoring team in terms of points in the paint with 50.6 on average and, at 102.1, they are the No. 1 pace team as Brown pointed out.
That is the good. Then there is the bad that also comes with the Sixers' identity.
“I am disappointed, at times. I am ashamed of some of our defensive efforts in small doses,” Brown pointed out. “But I feel like our identity for being together for such a short period of time, I mean people know they are going to play against a team with energy that is going to get up and down the floor and try to get to the rim.”
Denver will let teams run, allowing 101 points per game. That could play nicely into what the Sixers want to do on the first day of the new year.