The Sixers will wrap up their three-game road trip Thursday night in Houston.
And instead of anyone focusing on the on-court matchups, all eyes will be the fact that the Sixers are on the verge of tying the longest losing streak in NBA history.
With the Sixers riding a 25-game losing streak, here is their game against the Rockets in 3-Dei:
1. Ignore the chatter
The Sixers don’t want to make history, nor do they enjoy talking about losing night after night. But a streak of this magnitude draws attention -- national attention.
Still Brett Brown and his players must continue to prepare and play with winning intentions.
They may say they don’t pay attention to the streak, but the reality is that it's become hard to ignore. Thursday will be a true test of tuning out peripheral noise.
2. Keep Rockets off the line
The Sixers have not one but two lines they must concern themselves with Thursday night at the Toyota Center: the three-point line and the foul line.
Houston averages 9.3 made threes per game and 21.6 made free throws. The Rockets made threes are the fifth most, but over their last three games -- all wins -- that number has jumped to 13.3.
Houston’s made free throws are the second most in the league and Dwight Howard and James Harden combine for 12.3 themselves. The Sixers' defense must be at its best with rotations and court awareness.
3. Houston scores and defends
Houston averages the third-most points in the NBA (106.8) but what has overlooked this season is that the Rockets hold opponents to the fifth-lowest field goal percentage.
Eleven times in their last twelve games, the Sixers have failed to score 100 points. They are averaging just 91 in that 12-game stretch. Scoring against Houston isn’t as easy as in the past when the Rockets would let teams run with them.