Eight More Notes From Wednesday Night’s Pitiful Debacle of a Loss

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Blah blah blah the Sixers choked last night.

Here are eight more things that fell by the wayside, but need to be mentioned:

1) The Sixers again got out-volumed badly. They only took 75 field goals while Atlanta got up 85 shots. Once again they lost on the offensive glass, giving up 10 boards and only grabbing seven of their own. They committed 15 turnovers and only forced 11. That’s a -7 discrepancy right there and shrinks the margin when it comes to finding wiggle room with field goal percentage.

2) Trae Young went for 39 points and absolutely killed the Sixers from the foul line. He shot 6-14 against the Ben Simmons/Matisse Thybulle combo, but the backbreaker was the whistle, and when he was guarded by those two he got to the line nine times, hitting seven of those free throws. He also shot 9-9 from the line on fouls from Seth Curry, Dwight Howard, and Tobias Harris (2x). He finished 17-19 from the stripe.

(click on the image to enlarge the matchup data)

3) Upon further review, Joel Embiid deserves some blame for the loss. That sounds insane when you consider that Simmons and Tobias Harris were totally AWOL, but he shot 2-4 in the third quarter and 1-5 in the fourth. He took and missed a number of relatively clean second half looks and just didn’t seem to have the juice to close this one out.

In the grand scheme of things, he’s reason 5 or 6 why they lost this game, but the onus is unfortunately on him to be the fourth quarter guy despite playing 39 minutes on a torn meniscus. It should never have to come down to that, but it did.

4) Doc Rivers noted the other day that he’d like to see 40 deflections per game. They managed 13 in this game.

5) The thing about Tobias Harris that’s extra bothersome is that when he’s staggered into those second units as the only starter, is that he seems too passive. It’s one thing to defer to Embiid or Curry if they’re hot, but he needs to be demanding the ball in those other lineups, because outside of Shake Milton there are no other scorers. It’s unfathomable that he took a postseason-low 11 shots in this one.

6) Ben Simmons played 9:04 in the fourth quarter and logged a 12.4% usage. That’s 0.8% better than Furkan Korkmaz, who was on the fringe of the rotation as we approached the postseason.

7) Atlanta shot 37.5% on 32 contested field goals and 50.9% on 53 uncontested field goals. Defense was bad in the second half.

8) Analytically speaking, the fourth quarter shot chart was pretty poor. They only got two looks at the rim and missed three three pointers. The other looks included a lot of midrange stuff:

Barf.

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