It was 9:18 in the fourth quarter and Sacramento was in the midst of a 33-13 run when the Wells Fargo Center crowd started booing.
I don’t know if they were booing the ref, the Sixers, or just booing to boo, but you felt that air of inevitability inside the building.
They’re going to find a way to lose this game.
They started booing again when it was 96-90 and Dario Saric threw the ball out of play while looking for Ben Simmons in the low post.
And they booed for a third time when Robert Covington heaved up a 25-foot airball coming out of a timeout, down 98-92.
It’s seven losses in eight games for the Sixers, who blew a 16 point third quarter lead last night. Playing a back-to-back without the services of Joel Embiid, you thought they might be able to get the job done against a subpar Kings team on home court.
Instead, they didn’t shoot the ball that well, lost JJ Redick to injury in the second half, and looked like a team lacking identity without Embiid on the floor.
They’re now 1-6 when he doesn’t play, vs. 13-10 when he’s healthy. Scoring is down to 103.9 points per game without him, vs. 110.1 on a normal day. Defensively, he’s good enough for a 4 point swing, with a 108.3 PPG allowed when he’s out there vs. 112.4 when he isn’t.
None of that should come as a surprise. Without Embiid and Markelle Fultz, the Sixers are missing 66% of what we’ve determined is their “young core.” And when the remaining member of that triad is a rookie who can’t and/or won’t shoot the ball, you simply cannot expect a crop of complementary players to consistently fill the void. Continue Reading