Looking to Take Advantage at Home
Prior to road games, Brett Brown likes to take a moment to survey the landscape.
“On purpose, I walk down the bench. There are pockets of empty seats. You see them."
In Philadelphia, he notes, the scene is decidedly different.
“There ain’t no pockets," the seventh-year head coach said Tuesday, following a practice session in Camden.
That packed house - which has become synonymous with games at the Center - creates an energy that’s helped propel the 76ers (8-5) to an undefeated record at home. The Sixers are one of just four teams in the league boasting this status.
After playing nine of its first 13 contests away from home, the team now welcomes a three-game home stand, starting Wednesday with the Knicks (4-10).
The Sixers' home court advantage cannot be ignored.
“I wind our guys up to deliver,” Brown said. “We’ve got a responsibility to play here. We do everywhere, but we really do here.”
Even the Sixers' newest members feel it too.
“It does feel good,” Al Horford said. “Being on the road is hard, and just being able to come home, and have our fans rally behind us, it’s good for a change.”
Coming off a 27-point, 12-14 shooting performance Sunday in Cleveland, Tobias Harris echoed Horford’s sentiments.
“We love playing at home. We want to protect our court,” Harris said. “It’s always good to just be home, be locked in.”
But it’s not just a vibe - the Sixers have excelled across the stat sheet at home too.
Along with being the top rebounding home team in the league (53.3 rpg), the Sixers average 9.3 steals at home (no. 4 in NBA) and 6.5 blocks at home (no. 5 in NBA).
They also hold opponents to a league-low 9.8 second chance points per game.
Wednesday’s contest tips at 7:00 p.m. ET, and the home stand continues Friday hosting San Antonio, and Saturday hosting Miami.
After a slow start, the Knicks have won two of their last three games, beating the Mavericks and Cavaliers at MSG. Marcus Morris Sr. leads New York in scoring, averaging 18.6 points per game. The veteran wing has surpassed the 20-point threshold in three of his last four appearances.
2019 third overall pick R.J. Barrett has averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He is probable (thumb) for Wednesday’s contest.
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / MyTeams App
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