When you play defense, hit the glass, and get out in transition, you’re probably going to win basketball games. It also helps when your dysfunctional opponent could not care less about the outcome, and when you combine those four things together, you get a 25-point home win on a Friday night.
That’s two straight blowouts for your team, your town, and the Sixers didn’t exactly shoot the lights out – just 44% from the field, 32% from three, and 75% from the foul line. What they did well was grab 17 offensive rebounds while only turning the ball over 12 times, stealing it 11 times, and blocking seven shots. Brett Brown was able to get Joel Embiid out of the game after 22 minutes and his team finished with eight players in double digits.
Let’s go to the other coach, Scott Brooks, who explained what happened:
“We lost because we couldn’t get back in transition fast enough. Simmons has so much speed on the floor, their shooters, and Embiid was a monster down low and even on the perimeter. Offensive rebounds, you name it and they did it in that first half. I think we had a chance to cut it to six, we missed a wide open three in the middle of the second quarter and from then on they started rolling, they got to the free-throw line and we couldn’t get there.”
More or less.
Defense leads to offense, after the jump:
Nice strip from Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons literally just runs past three guys in transition for the easy bucket. He gets a round of applause from Kendall Jenner, whose presence didn’t seem to affect the game’s outcome. Imagine that.
Here’s another example:
Quickly up the floor, between the legs to the trailing big, who is seven feet tall and can shoot three pointers.
They gave us another mixtape play when T.J. McConnell hit Ben Simmons on a no look behind-the-back layoff for a vicious dunk.
John Wall’s thoughts:
“We just didn’t make shots and they just… too much transition. Same stuff we’ve been talking about all year, just giving up too many transition points.”
When teams are giving up transition points, it means they’re lazy. They don’t want to get back. They aren’t putting in the effort because the team is fractured or they dislike the coach or they want a trade, or maybe all of those things at the same time.
The Sixers scored 21 fast break points last night as Washington shot 40% from the floor and 29% from three.
Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons came out wearing headbands last night, which Brett Brown approved of:
“I love it. They are defensive brothers, okay, you know they’re blood brothers – that band signifies to me their bonding, a defensive bonding and I’ve asked Jimmy to put Ben under his wing and really help Ben be all he can be defensively. Ben was our bell ringer tonight and for me, he was that because I thought that his on-ball defense, his off-ball defense, his length playing behind plays and those eyes are really what we were speaking about beforehand you know the back of pick and rolls stuff I thought he was excellent. So that’s what it is. It’s a bonding of defensive brothers, the headband.”
They were really good defensively. Wall and Bradley Beal combined for just 30 points on 10-28 shooting, which is a big positive for this team considering the fact that they’ve been giving up a lot of points to guards (Kemba Walker, Spencer Dinwiddie/D’Angelo Russell, Collin Sexton, etc).
Here’s Jimmy on Ben’s defense:
“He makes everybody’s job easier. Not just on the offensive end but for sure on the defensive end. He can literally switch one through five. Me on the other hand, I’m not guarding five. He can guard anybody, one, two, three, four, five. I think having someone like that on your team makes the world of a difference.”
And Ben on Jimmy:
“It’s fun. It’s fun just knowing that he’s going to get a lot of steals and deflections and we can get out and run… It’s just fun seeing plays like that unfold and knowing you have guys who can really play with you and run, catching lobs and playing.”
For what it’s worth, Butler said that the headband is “in” right now. Joel Embiid said he was “disappointed” in the headband brothers because he expected them “to score 40 or 50 points.”
There was also this moment:
— Jon (@bearseatbeets3) December 1, 2018
Butler on Shamet:
“I’m just saying, he had JJ laying on the floor, my feet were out, and like three other people’s feet were out, and you just decided to step on my foot out of all the things you could have stepped on? It’s just incredible. And his locker’s right next to mine back there too, so I was still staring at him after the game. But that’s my guy.”
- Mike Muscala took and missed a technical foul shot last night
- Joel Embiid’s dad got a shout out on the jumbotron for his combination birthday and retirement after 34 years with the Cameroonian military. Embiid said he was appreciative of the love shown by Philly fans toward his dad.
- I have this theory that the Sixers play better when the arena DJ starts spinning old school hip hop. Last night, they hit buckets on possessions when Tupac and Ice Cube were playing, then missed shots on possessions when Dr. Dre and Wu Tang were playing. They were 2-4 overall, but the Wu Tang possession came during garbage time, so you can cross that one off the list. What I’m trying to say is that the DJ should play nothing but old school hip hop on every possession: