No Such Thing As A Game 'You Should Win'
Nate McMillan was asked a couple of questions about beating teams you presumably should beat during pre-game media availability. Basically the line of questioning stemmed from a notion that, after beating Miami, Dallas, San Antonio (on the road) and Denver, dispatching the 7-22 Philadelphia Sixers should be all but a given. McMillan wasn’t buying it.
“I’ll never get that,” said McMillan matter-of-factly. “Basically we shouldn’t have beaten any team we just played. Any of them. Phoenix, Dallas, any of them. I never get that people can look at a roster and say you should beat somebody. I never understand that … I don’t get why people think that, whether it’s a player or anybody else … that you can walk in. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.”
Monday night’s loss is a perfect example of why McMillan is dead-on with his assessment. Winning a few games in a row against good teams doesn’t make you invulnerable, especially when you’re playing with a depleted roster. There’s simply no team that can’t be beaten on any given night. There’s just not.
Did the players, after taking a seven-point lead into the half, think they could walk their way to a victory? Not necessarily, but they didn’t seem to have the urgency and scrap that a team with ten healthy players needs to have to beat any team in the NBA, be it the Sixers or any other team. It’s easy to get up for the best teams, but it’s arguably more important to get ready for the bottom rung.
“This team beat us last year twice, so we can play better,” said McMillan. “We didn’t tonight and just like we won those games, we lose this tonight. We have to put this behind us and get ourselves ready for another team that is going to be under .500 and has got some guys who can play.”