November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – You could have heard someone chewing gum when Andres Nocioni, arms spread wide, called out, “What are we doing?”
During this most indicative moment of the 76ers‘ embarrassing 116-93 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, the AT&T Center was surprisingly quiet.
It was midway through the third quarter, more than halfway through the Sixers‘ collapse, and Nocioni had just received an over-the-back call while trying to grab the missed shot of teammate Marreese Speights.
Walking back downcourt, Nocioni yelled what seemed to be a rhetorical question.
But after a few seconds, you began thinking Nocioni actually wanted an answer.
“What are we doing?” Nocioni repeated, arms still wide, pointing, seeking out a teammate.
Why was Speights shooting a 20-foot jumper with plenty of time on the shot clock? Why was the Sixers’ offense just an alternating game of very bad one-on-one? When would the team find some discipline to make the extra pass?
On Saturday night, the answer was never.
The Sixers dropped to 2-8. The Spurs, led by Tony Parker with 24 points, improved to 7-1.
“Usually, the team, we fight until the end, the whole game,” Nocioni explained afterward. “In the third quarter, we looked like we lost hope, so there was a reason I was frustrated. That’s it. We need to work together and try to be together right now.”
He continued: “I think we need to learn. We need to try to play our game and run the floor. We need to try to run our plays, and we didn’t, so that’s why we lost the way we lost.”
Before many inside the arena had sat down with their beers, the Spurs were ahead by 17 points, 29-12.
After halftime, while some folks were in line for pretzels and soda, the Spurs went up by 70-52 and then, eventually, by 96-64.
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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