NEW YORK -- The Sixers and Knicks meet tonight at Madison Square Garden, and both teams are struggling.
The Sixers are on a three-game losing streak. The Knicks have dropped four in a row and will be without Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Both players are sidelined with sprained ankles.
The Sixers are minus bodies as well.
“For sure Brandon [Davies] is out,” Brett Brown said after the Sixers' shootaround. “Tony [Wroten] is highly unlikely. My feeling is he's not playing and Arnett [Moultrie] will not play.”
The Sixers are coming off a 107-99 loss in Washington on Monday, a game in which the team’s three-point shooting woes continued with the Sixers shooting 4 for 18 from beyond the arc.
As a group, the Sixers have made just eight of their last 57 three-point attempts, prompting some players to put in extra shooting on the heels of Monday's loss. Spencer Hawes was among those who did so.
“You go 5 for 15 and 1 for 7 from three, you have to go figure something out,” Hawes said, reciting his stats from the Wizards game. “We have all been struggling and it's been noted, especially from three. I wasn't happy with my performance, and the best way I know to get oneself out of something is to go into the lab.
“A lot of shots last game felt good to me. Looking at the video, I did see what I was doing wrong and I tried to correct that.”
Shooting better would be nice, but Hawes and his teammates know that in order to snap their losing streak, defense needs to be their first order of attention.
“Amar'e obviously played very well last game, and we don't have to worry about that tonight,” Hawes said. “We have to contain 'Melo [Carmelo Anthony] early and try and get that defensive identity established earlier. We don't want to make it a shootout here.
"We have to find that mojo we had on that West Coast trip. It wasn't some strategy, it was a mindset and we sort of had extra juice at that end of the floor.”
With that defensive mindset from Dec. 29 through Jan. 4, the Sixers put together their longest winning streak of the season, stringing four together.
“We are coming into the Garden where New York feels like they haven't played well and they haven't played great defense. They haven't played together or shared the ball,” Brown said. “This city demands a lot, and they have prideful players and they haven't been living up to their standard.”