Are the 76ers overachieving in 2014-15?

The 76ers are not quite on pace to win more game than they did last season, currently sporting a 7-29 record with 46 games remaining (last year they won 19 games). But with their team completely depleted of any real veteran presence and playing as underdogs in every single game this season, the Sixersmay be better than you think.

A season ago, the 76ers began the year with a roster full of players who helped lead Philly to the playoffs a few seasons ago — Evan Turner, ThaddeusYoung and others. And even with those guys on the team for nearly half the season, Philly was dead last in defense, allowing 109.9 points per game.

This season, with a much less talented roster that is the most youthful pro basketball squad in NBA history, Philly allows 103 points defensively.

Can they win close games? Sure they can. The 76ers are winners of three of their last four, each by a margin of three or less points.

And they aren’t beating up on the bottom of the NBA standings either. They have defeated two teams in third place in their respective conferences (the Heat and Cavs) and one team in second place (the Nets).

All of this is even more impressive, considering the Sixers and their 0-17 start.

“We try to stay pretty grounded and understand what we’re all about and what our purpose is,” Brown said. “(The 0-17 start) does seem a while ago. Whether what we’ve done lately has erased that stat, that fact from people’s minds, I don’t know.”

Philadelphia hosts Atlanta Tuesday night seeking itsthird straight win. It likely won’t come vs. the 29-8 Hawks, best in the Eastern Conference, but if nothing else, the Hawks will certainly be taking the Sixers seriously. And that’s something to be proud of.

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