CHARLOTTE, N.C. The last time the Sixers were in Charlotte, it was the high point of their season, at least in terms of record.
With their 98-89 win over the Bobcats they improved to 20-9 on the season back on Feb. 13.
Since then, they have gone 5-11, causing reason for concern, even though Doug Collins isnt worried.
We held Chicago to 89 points and they had 17 offensive rebounds and 29 free throws, he said. We held Miami to 84 points. We took 93 shots in that game and with 93 shots, you think it is going to be an up-and-down game but they had 27 points in the second half. The Indiana game, I thought we didnt defend well but the other two games I thought we did. I think the one thing you have to be very careful of is instead of saying whats wrong. Sometimes its your opponent and how well they are playing.
Its a fair point. Their last two losses against the Heat and Bulls were against two of the top three teams in the NBA, who both happened to be coming off rare losses when the Sixers met them.
Last Wednesday, the Pacers entertained the Sixers having lost 4 of their last five. But now it is the Sixers turn to use their situation as motivation to beat a Bobcats team that has gotten healthy and can score.
Tonight is a game where our guys know what is at stake, Collins said. They are playing better basketball. D.J. Augustin is back and he had 25 points in a half against us last year. He can score. Kemba Walker can score. Gerald Henderson can score. We know what we need to do. There is no need for me to get up there and give the State of the Union on the importance of this game. Our guys know we have to come in here and find a way to win this game tonight.
Lou Williams, who is the Sixers leading scorer with 15.7 points per game, has had a rough last three games. A week ago yesterday, he had a season-high 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting at Madison Square Garden, when the Sixers beat the Knicks.
Since then, Williams has shot a combined 10 for 35 from the floor for a total of 28 points. Williams, the Sixers best free-throw shooter at 80 percent, has shot 50 percent from the line the past three games.
Usually, when Williams gets back on track, wins follow.