The Philadelphia 76ers are mired in a three-game losing streak, but no one is hitting the panic button. It’s on to the next one, or the same one in this case since the Sixers take on the Milwaukee Bucks for the second time in less than 48 hours.
After their lop-sided 124-117 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday night, star forward Tobias Harris shared an inspirational message with his teammates. They must stay grounded, committed to the present, instead of thinking about the what ifs and what could have beens. Control what you can control.
“Just stay in the present moment, stay in the moment right here,” Harris told reporters. “We can’t look too forward at games we have or games another team has, that always seems to hurt you in the end because if you look back or you look forward, that moment in time is already gone.
“So it’s being right in this moment. For us right now, this game is over. It’s getting refocused, recalibrated, and getting ourselves ready for the next one. It’s one by one, one game at a time, stay locked in. If we handle our business we know at the end of the day we’ll be satisfied. That’s my message.”
Tobias Harris at full strength is going to be bad news for the Sixers’ opponents 😤 pic.twitter.com/owYRB36NQs
— Sixers Nation (@SixersNationCP) April 23, 2021
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Sixers Need to ‘Tighten Up the Details’
Shake Milton had been in a bit of a slump before breaking out for 20 points on Thursday. He went 8-of-14 from the field — 3-of-5 from three-point land — in 20 minutes off the bench. Perhaps he heard Doc Rivers’ calls of asking him to “play better” the other night, or maybe it was just a matter of him listening more closely to the basketball gods.
“Nothing changed,” Milton said. “Shoot when you’re open, pass when you’re not. The game’s always going to tell you what to do. You just got to be locked in and make plays.”
— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) April 22, 2021
Milton also shared his own message for how the Sixers need to deal with their recent slide. Philly needs to be better equipped to be the hunted, rather than the hunter.
“We got to realize that teams are going to give us their best shot every night,” Milton said. “It’s going to be important for us to be locked in on all details, specifically like transition defense and boxing our man out and making sure that we are getting rebounds so we that we can go play on the offensive end. So as we move closer to playoffs, just tightening it up on details and making sure we’re rock solid.”
Shooting for No. 1 Seed in Eastern Conference
It’s going to be a tight-rope walk down the stretch as the Sixers balance keeping the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference versus staying healthy. They understand how much home-court advantage means — 22-7 record at Wells Fargo Center this season — but it won’t mean a thing if guys like Ben Simmons (illness), Joel Embiid (knee), Tobias Harris (knee), Seth Curry (hip), Dwight Howard (knee) are all out.
“Everybody’s got to get healthy, that’s number one,” Harris said. “We want to be the number one seed, that’s been our goal from the beginning of the year. So we got to do that in the best way that we can, with heatlh-wise and getting everybody healthy for the playoffs. From there, we go out and play our game and do what we have to do to win basketball games and get that top seed.”
— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) April 23, 2021
Harris, Embiid, Curry, Howard all played valuable minutes on Thursday against Milwaukee, but Simmons remains a question mark heading into Saturday’s rematch. It’s a delicate balance.