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Aftermath of Suns loss to Sixers: "It could get really ugly, really fast"

The Phoenix Suns have hit a new rock bottom, this time with a convincing loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The team knows they are on the precipice of something still worse.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

You know you've hit a low point when you find a way to lose, and get outplayed all game, by a team that had not won on the road in 23 tries and had started the season 1-30 overall.

Such is the life of the Phoenix Suns right now.

"Yeah, obviously it's probably a low point for us," coach Hornacek confirmed.

Forward P.J. Tucker was a bit more blunt.

"Not doing the things we set out to do early," he said of how the Suns are losing. "Not continuously holding each other accountable and doing the things we're supposed to do to get better each and every game. We got to a point where we would win three quarters and lose in the end with something to fight for to get better in the fourth quarter. Now we're just flat out losing games."

Tucker had 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist in the loss.

Overall, the Suns are regressing by the week. This most recent 5-game stretch, which included four home games and all five against teams with losing records, the Suns found a way to go 1-4 to sit at 12-20 on the season.

Now the Suns have to face a handful of the league's best teams over the next week - likely without Eric Bledsoe - and it's not going to be pretty. The schedule has Cleveland on Monday, and then on the road to San Antonio and Oklahoma City Wednesday and Thursday.

"Something has to change quick," Tucker said. "It could get really ugly really fast."

That change could come in the form of a new coach. Hornacek looks defeated most of the time these days, and his players are clearly not taking to his optimistic approach. Maybe they need a disciplinarian to straighten out their execution issues.

But then again, this is the same Hornacek that nearly won NBA's Coach of the Year award in 2013-14 and still has a winning record as coach despite a ton of roster turnover.

Most likely, blame goes all around. To the owner who pushed the Suns fight for the playoffs while they should have been taking a few bad seasons on the nose to get high draft picks. To the GM for lucking into a fun team in 2013-14 and then failing to make it better in subsequent seasons. To the coach for putting out a team with progressively worse fundamentals and execution. And to the players for failing to execute at crucial times.

From the coach to the small forward to Ronnie Price, they all agree that the team just needs to get out of their own heads and play.

"I think we've talked about it enough, we've just got to play," Price said. "There's nothing else to talk about we're talking ourselves to death right now so we've just got to strap it up and play."

Hanging over the team now is injury to Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe collapsed in the second quarter and needed help off the court, not putting any weight on his left leg at all. While the Suns don't believe it's an ACL tear, Bledsoe is getting an MRI quickly to see if it's the meniscus. Bledsoe tore the meniscus in his right knew two seasons ago. This time, it might be the left.

Without Bledsoe, the Suns have an even lesser chance to win games. And now their easy part of the schedule is over.

Maybe that's what the Suns need - a few games where there's no expectations at all.

"As soon as the ball is thrown up we should be frantic," Tucker said. "Because we're in a frantic state right now as a team and we need to play like we're fighting to get back. Right now we're playing like we're at the top and can just win games and that's not how it's going to happen."

Against the Cavaliers, Spurs and Thunder this week, the Suns should not be under any illusions they can just show up and win.

Watch Hornacek talk after the game.

And now Tucker.

"We have great practices," Tucker said. "We work really hard together. We fight like cats and dogs in practice. It's just not transpiring in games. We got to keep fighting. We got a lot of young guys. It's a learning experience."

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