76ers Apparently Not Fans of Losing, Like at All

76ers Apparently Not Fans of Losing, Like at All

The famed concept of the "players only" meeting is shrouded in mystique. What do they say in private? What grievances are aired? Do they play video games and drink beer and eat chicken wings? Is that why the coaches aren't invited? Just what the hell happens?

Well, no one really knows. In most cases, the players stay tight-lipped, and sometimes things sometimes change for the better, while other times they get even worse. The "change for the better" and "get even worse" phrases were the real keys of the preceding sentence. Typically, these meetings are held in reserve as an option of last resort for a team who needs a desperate kick-start after a stretch of prolonged difficulties.

And, apparently, for the 2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers, just one overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets is about as prolonged a stretch as they're willing to suffer through.

CSNPhilly's John Finger is reporting that the team actually held a players only meeting on Thursday to address their recent "losing streak" of exactly one game.

From Finger:

Not even 24 hours after the Sixers dropped a 108-104 overtime decision to the Denver Nuggets at the Center on Wednesday night, Williams got his teammates together for a players’ only meeting. No, it wasn’t to air grievances or point fingers about the tough loss, but instead it was a way to keep the team on the same page.

"This is the most success we’ve had in a long time and we’re not planning on letting it go," captain Lou Williams said. "We can’t afford to lose three or four games in a row because guys can’t talk out small little things. We lost one, we consider that a losing streak in our building so we had to talk it out."

When asked, head coach Doug Collins said it was actually pretty typical for the players to have some time to themselves after practice or film session. According to Finger, yesterday's film session included tape of an unfortunate series of events beginning at the end of the third quarter, which the team believes to have ultimately cost them the contest.

Of note, though the loss to the Nuggets was just one game, the Sixers are in the middle of a very difficult three-game stretch. The team will host the (11-4) Atlanta Hawks this evening before next traveling to Miami to take on LeBron James and the (10-4) Heat. Losing all three games -- a possibility against such high-caliber opponents-- would certainly be a tough blow to the team's early season momentum.

Considering this (for the most part) same roster opened up to a 3-13 start last season, it comes as little surprise that Lou and the rest of the veterans want to hold onto their success at all costs. And if this team is going to take losses, especially at home, this personally, then we have to say we're all for it.

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

With Roman Quinn's season over with an oblique strain, Freddy Galvis moves up to second in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday night against the Braves.

Quinn's showing in the majors this month was a microcosm of his pro career to this point — he showed his speed with four steals and several infield hits, posted a .373 OBP in 69 plate appearances, but suffered another injury. Health has always been his roadblock.

With Quinn out, Cody Asche gets a start in left field against Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who he's homered off of. The presence of Quinn and Aaron Altherr has limited Asche's playing time — he's started only three games since coming back from Triple A on Sept. 10.

Asche bats seventh, a spot ahead of Aaron Altherr, who is 7 for 52 (.135) in his last 18 games and has four extra-base hits in his last 133 plate appearances.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Cody Asche, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Matt Kemp, who sat last night, returns to the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Dansby Swanson, SS
7. Mallex Smith, RF
8. Daniel Castro, 2B
9. Mike Foltynewicz, P