There isn’t much experience in the Sixers locker room.
Most of the players on the roster are more used to a 30 game college basketball schedule than they are the rigors of the 82-game NBA marathon.
And while Brett Brown might not be shy to mention that he notices the fatigue, don’t expect the players to own up to it.
“I feel like you can see that with a lot of our young guys,” Brown said after another loss Wednesday.”Sometimes you get hit in the stomach, you have to find ways to get back in it. The game feels long, it is long, you’re not gonna get a win unless you play long.”
Nerlens Noel? He was hit in the face and tweeked his knee against the Hornets. But that’s no excuse — this is the big leagues,
“It’s the NBA, guys start to fatigue a little bit,” the big man said.”We are in a solid place, we have gas in the tank we need to finish strong. Regardless of the circumstances we have to shut up and do our job.”
Noel has shaken off the injury-prone moniker after missing his entire rookie season following offseason surgery. He has missed a handful of games, but has also shown he can be tough and play through pain — qualities that makes the 6-foot-11 forward a good leader.
“I’m just trying to play through it all,” he said.”I grew up withtwo older brothers who played football I’m pretty used to it.”
Without a playoff push to motivate them, the 76ers have a tough situation to push through for the final dozen and a half games this season. But it’s not a unique problem by any means.
“This is reality, this is our job,” Brown, who has made several playoff pushes as an assistant with the Spurs, said. “Itonly gets harder the longer you play. I’ve said many times you can put me in a room, not show me what time or day it is and you can walk into an NBA game and say ‘yep, it’s November’ or ‘wow, it’s May.'”