The banner across the website of the Philadelphia 76ers reads: Passionate. Intense. Proud.
The team has displayed none of those attributes in the past few weeks and is in danger of dropping out of the Eastern Conference playoff race with 10 games to play. Philadelphia will try to get its act together tonight in the continuation of a three-game road trip against the New Jersey Nets.
Philadelphia is currently mired in a four-game losing streak and is just 9-18 since opening the 2011-12 campaign with a sizzling 20-9 mark. The losing trend continued in Sunday's 103-79 blowout loss at Boston, as Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the reeling Sixers, who got 14 points from Andre Iguodala and 10 out of Evan Turner.
"This team is taking it to another level, they make you look bad," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said of the Celtics, who were blasted in the first two meetings with Philly. "They're playing great."
Collins has been accused of losing his players and rightfully so since the 76ers once owned a comfortable lead atop the Atlantic Division. Now they're tied with New York at three games off the Celtics' pace and sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. Philadelphia must keep an eye out for Milwaukee too, and plays eight of its last 10 games on the road.
The Sixers, who are 10-15 as the visitor, will close out the trek Wednesday at Toronto and are winless in their last four road games.
New Jersey has been playing well as of late and will wrap up a three-game homestand Tuesday. It has defeated both Washington and Cleveland, and is coming off Sunday's 122-117 overtime triumph versus the Cavaliers.
Gerald Green had a season-high 32 points on 11 of 18 shooting and Anthony Morrow delivered 24 points for the Nets, who have won six of nine games overall and three in a row in the Garden State.
Deron Williams posted 18 points and 10 assists, while Kris Humphries added 16 points and 11 rebounds in a winning effort.
"It was a good game. That team played tough, there was no give up in them, they had some guys for them step up, and we had some guys for us step up," Williams said.
The Nets are in the midst of playing seven of 10 games at home and own a 9-19 record at the Prudential Center this season. Nets forward Gerald Wallace posted seven points against Cleveland in less than 18 minutes and is listed as questionable for tonight with a strained left hamstring.
New Jersey and Philadelphia will play the second of four matchups this season, and the Nets won the first matchup, 97-90, in overtime on Jan. 25 at Wells Fargo Center. Williams scored 34 points and made the go-ahead three-pointer with 26.8 seconds left in overtime for New Jersey, which ended an eight-game slide in the series. The Sixers have still won 10 of the past 15 meetings.
Philadelphia has won four straight trips to New Jersey. These two teams will meet again on April 13 and 23.