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.
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.