Post Game Recap: Sixers Fall to Nets, They Are Who We Thought They Were
After starting the season with a bang, the Sixers kicked off their home slate with a late whimper, falling to the nets by a final score of 114-109.
But it wasn't the final result, or the scoreboard, it was how they did it. With 5:32 left to play in the 4th quarter after this Thybulle dunk, Philadelphia was up 108-98.
They went on to score one more point in that final 5 minute interval, with that only point coming off free throws after an intentional foul. No one from Joel Embiid to Tobias Harris to Tyrese Maxey should be exempt from blame after that. They were unable to even slow the Nets offense, and were unable to either create or make shots on offense. The need for a playmaker who can score and dribble at a high level is clear. But there's still a core issue and it's that
Doc Rivers is still Doc Rivers
At some point, some higher-up in the Sixers organization is going to have to realize this, right? A main reason Rivers was fired from his last job is that his team couldn't hold on to a lead, in a series or in a game. Replacing him with Tyronn Lue of all people resulted in a conference finals appearance. In his first season with Philly, he blew multiple 20+ point playoff leads during the same series. I would say he can learn from his mistakes, but he's had a decade to do that. But on a more positive note...
The Sixers can still Compete
Even with Joel Embiid having a human performance by his standards in just 30 minutes of work, the Sixers lead for a huge chunk of this game. That's no small accident, and in large part because of the work Daryl Morey did on the edges of this roster. Isaiah Joe hasn't found his shooting stroke yet but is a rotation player. Tyrese Maxey held his own for some stretches' while guarding James Harden, and Georges Niang is 100x the player Mike Scott was last year. Andre Drummond is wild, and can do stuff like this:
This Sixers roster is probably better than the one seeded team last year, and even after a disappointing loss, Philly will get another shot at the Nets, and whoever else emerges as competition in the East. It sucks that these Sixers blew another one of those leads, but they still have plenty of time to take another step.
Standout Performance: Seth Curry
He might never miss again. He was tied for the team-leading scorer title with 23 points on 9-12 shooting including a perfect 4-4 from three. I can't remember if he hit the rim on his 9 makes. The sweet-shooting guard has carried over his torrid stretch from last years playoff and has seemingly evolved from 'shooting specialist' to 'possible 18 PPG scorer for a top seed' during his time in Philly. Since May 1st of this year, Seth is averaging 17.4 points per contest on 60% from the field and 56% from three. He's also only being paid $8 million dollars per year, which is a downright steal.
Up next, the sixers have a road matchup with the 0-2 Thunder who have scored just an average of 88.5 points over their first two games.