The Sixers didn’t lose three of four games on the west coast road trip because of offensive struggles.
Brett Brown’s team put up point totals of 130, 107, 125, and 114 en route to just one California win, shooting 43.5% from three point range, which made them the NBA’s second-best team from beyond the arc during that stretch. They mustered a #2 overall 122.2 offensive rating while playing small, spreading the floor, moving the basketball, and lighting it up from distance.
The problem is that they simultaneously posted a league-worst 123.6 defensive rating during that stretch, leading to a negative net rating overall. The absences of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons absolutely crushed them on the defensive side of the ball.
Embiid is listed as questionable for tonight’s game against Detroit, and if he doesn’t go, you’re probably looking at more of the same small ball, with Mike Scott playing faux-center behind Al Horford while Norvel Pelle and Kyle O’Quinn remain on the bench.
Surely those two might help on the interior, right? Perhaps, though Brett Brown had to this to say on Tuesday about giving his backup bigs more playing time: