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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clippers' Blake Griffin compliments Sixers; Brett Brown sees 'daylight' for his team

(Associated Press)

The 76ers lost Monday. You probably already knew that. But maybe you didn’t know what Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin said about the Sixers, following the Clippers’ 94-83 win.

“Philly’s a tough team, and they play hard,” Griffin said. “If you don’t play hard and with that intensity, you’re not going to win here.”

Part of Brett Brown’s culture change for the Sixers goes beyond wins. It’s in establishing a reputation around the league, as a running team, as an aggressive team, as a team that will not roll over. The Sixers twice in the fourth quarter whittled their deficit, which had crested at 21 points, to seven points. Both times, they couldn’t get the next basket to close the gap even further.

Compliments don’t feel nearly as good as victories. But they go a long way toward vanquishing sleepless nights, like the one Brown likely experienced last Friday, after the Sixers’ defensive collapse in a loss at Charlotte.

“I slept OK last night,” Brown said at Tuesday’s practice. “I didn’t sleep that well after Charlotte. There’s a respect factor that we want to have for this program. The players have put in the time. And there’s only a handful of games where you say, ‘You don’t want to be a part of that, or linked to that performance.’ The entire Spurs game. At Charlotte. Those are the games that stand out to me. After that, I’m really proud of our guys and how they have competed.

“I see daylight where we’ll continue to get better defensively.”

The Sixers (7-15), who have lost four in a row, have dropped 11 of 13 overall. They left today for a two-game roadtrip, which begins Wednesday in Minnesota and ends Friday in Toronto.

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