Accountability will be key for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. And if there's one person on the team who knows the team needs to hold themselves accountable, it's the 12-year veteran shooting guard, Danny Green.
Recognized as one of the more outspoken leaders on the Sixers, Green didn't filter his evaluation on the Sixers' disappointing loss against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. As Philly went into the matchup knowing they weren't going to face the Nets at full-strength, Green believes that his team took their opponents lightly in the beginning, and they ended up paying for it with a blowout loss.
"I think we kind of underestimated them," Green said following the loss. "You know, when you have (Kevin Durant) out, (Kyrie Irving) out, guys just think it's going to be OK. It ain't gonna happen that way; it's not going to be a cakewalk. It's not gonna be easy."
While the Sixers didn't do themselves any favors on Thursday night as they shot poorly from three, turned the ball over 20 times, and committed eight more fouls than their opponent, Brooklyn was no slouch without their top performers.
"Those guys are still a good ballclub regardless of who's on that floor," Green continued. "On any given night in this league, you know how it goes. So, we got to come out with the same focus, the same energy. I think the start of the game dictated how it was going to go for us. And we can't allow either our offense or our defense to dictate the whole game."
The Sixers were off to a bad start offensively from the jump as they knocked down just 39-percent of their shots from the field and 21-percent of their three-pointers through the first half. Like last season, their poor offense translated into bad defense on Thursday night, which called for a Brooklyn beatdown on the 76ers.
Although the loss doesn't affect the Sixers much as they remain at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 7-2 record, Philly comes out of the game knowing they can be defeated on any given night. And regardless of whether their opponent is shorthanded or not, they have to come out playing 100-percent, or else they could very well find themselves in a similar situation as they did on Thursday.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_