The Sixers couldn’t shoot or protect the basketball last night. The bench offered up pretty much nothing and the effort was maybe a 1.8 on a scale of 10.
That’s good enough for a 17-point loss to a 16-25 Wizards team, a team they clobbered by… <checks notes> …17 points on Tuesday night.
They split with a bad team in the world’s most useless home-and-home series, a series that they needed to sweep.
They needed to sweep it because this is what the schedule looks like after three more cupcake games against the Hawks, Knicks, and Wolves:
- at Pacers
- vs Thunder
- vs Rockets
- vs Spurs
- at Nuggets
- at Lakers
- at Warriors
- at Kings
- vs Raptors
- vs Nuggets
- vs Lakers
- vs Celtics
How many guaranteed wins do you see in there?
The Sixers are 0-5 in the five games they’ve turned the ball over 20 or more times this season.
They had 24 last night, which was the second-worst number they’ve posted, just three turnovers shy of that brutal Nets loss back in November.
Ben Simmons himself had 7 turnovers, bad ones like this:
You never see him turn the ball over in that area. He’s had that cross-court pass picked off before, but he usually throws it in transition off a rebound or steal, usually a bit further up the floor. It’s atypical for him to go there off a made basket.
Joel Embiid also had 7 turnovers: 4 lost balls, 2 offensive fouls, and this missed connection:
I think the most disappointing thing is that the turnovers wiped out 17 offensive rebounds last night. On a typical night, the Sixers would have probably turned the ball over 12-14 times for a +3 or +4 or +5 possession number with that OREB mark, but last night they were -7 with those two parameters combined, which resulted in Washington shooting 87 shots to Philly’s 86. It’s pretty strange to see a team pull down 17 offensive rebounds and still shoot fewer shots than the opponent, but that actually happened here.
Bigs not named Joel Embiid
Didn’t get much of anything from these guys:
- Wilson Chandler: 2-7, 1-4 from three, 5 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists
- Mike Muscala: 1-2, 1-2 from three, 3 points, 1 rebound
- Jonah Bolden: 0-1, 0 points, 1 rebound
- Amir Johnson: DNP
It’s rough. Wilson Chandler is not the player he was as recently as two years ago and Mike Muscala’s field goal percentage is down 7 points from last season. Bolden is fresh out of the G-League and Amir Johnson isn’t even in the rotation.
As for the power forward position, take a look:
Bjelica would have a nice fit here.
They Sixers could have used another 29 point performance from Landry Shamet.
Instead they got 12 total bench points on 5-19 shooting (26%). The Sixers are 22nd in the league in bench scoring with 34.2 PPG. Compare that to the starting unit, which shot 32-67 (47%), and you get an overall mark of 43%, good for the 12th worst number of the season.
Back to backs
There’s really no reason to play back-to-backs in the NBA. Teams rest their stars. They’re tired. They have to travel.
I know the league has re-jiggered the schedule to cut down on these games, but they are just utterly useless. Do they benefit the players? No. Do they benefit the fans? No. Do they benefit coaches? No? I don’t know who they benefit, other than daily fantasy players who make money betting against teams on the second night of a B2B. I guess the teams make their extra money off more ticket sales, concessions, etc, all of that. Gotta squeeze in 82 games somehow.
Anyway, to the original point, the Sixers are wretched on the second night of back to backs:
They are 2-6 overall and +6 in turnovers on the second night of back-to-back games, compared to a 14.6 average turnover number on their typical one day of rest.
That’s it for now.