The Philadelphia 76ers are playing lots of their games like the Philadelphia Flyers. The results are always the same. Getting down early and not being able to come back. If you’re playing uphill all game long, then you’re in for a tiring night and that’s how the 76ers have been playing lately. As they spend the whole game trying to battle back, there’s just nothing left at the end to close out the close games.
Tuesday night the 76ers (17-25) tried to end a four game losing streak against the Milwaukee Bucks (22-18) but they just found the same results as the previous games as they lost 110-102. A slow start that was the direct result of horrible shooting put the 76ers down 10 at the end of the 1st quarter and it was hard to recover after that. Even fighting towards the end, the uphill battle is just one that the 76ers continually fight and continually lose.
Jrue Holiday had another terrible performance shooting just 3-12 from the field. In addition to that, he rung up 8 turnovers to help offset the 12 assists he dished. There’s no way the 76ers will be successful with Holiday having nights like this. The roster is littered with jump shooting combo guards and it’s not working this year. When you only put 9 players on the floor and four of them don’t attempt a free throw, you’re not doing enough to get to the basket. When the team as a whole only shoots 13 free throws, it’s an outright problem.
With the “speed and ability” that all these combos supposedly posses, you would think that some more fast breaks and penetration would be prevalent but they’re nowhere to be found. Even Spencer Hawes, your center for lack of a better term, is a jump shooter. It doesn’t work in the NBA today.
Were there bright spots? Sure. Let’s see if we can make something horrible sounds a little bit promising. Evan Turner continues to play well and is starting to show why he was the #2 overall pick in the 2011 draft. 23 points on 8-19 shooting, is good, but he added seven assists and six rebounds. Again, this is a good stat line, but he’s your starting shooting guard. Spencer Hawes rang up 21 points and 12 rebounds but that’s been more rare than it’s been the norm this season.
What needs to be addressed is that the Sixers are not a formidable opponent for anyone any more. When you look up and down the stat sheet, you see Kwame Brown and Arnett Moultrie, again, DNP from a coach’s decision. That means that they’re there, but Doug Collins isn’t putting them on the floor. So, who does the 76ers losing streak fall on? The team or Collins?
Ultimately, it’s the coaches fault for not putting the right players on the floors and when you’re getting beat up down low, consistently by other teams, like the 76ers have been, then you need to put some guys on the floor that will add that toughness down low. I don’t think, in any way possible, that Kwame Brown is anything more than a body out there at this point, but he’s a body that can punish bigger players down low. Playing physically and making it difficult for opposing teams to get in the lane. The same goes for Moultrie. While he’s only a rookie, it’s obvious that this team isn’t heading in the right direction, so get him on the floor. Get him time with other NBA players and see if he’s going to be worth using in the future. There’s no point in having the kid sit on the bench. If anything he’s another bunch of fouls you can use to remind other teams that they shouldn’t expect an easy time when they get in to the lane against the 76ers.
It seems like this could be written after every game, with just a few name changes being made and that becomes a huge problem when you’re coaching a professional sports team. Let’s hope that whatever Collins is trying to do, starts to work and it does it quickly. If it doesn’t, there’s not going to be anything to be happy about until David Stern shows up and tells us how many lottery balls the team will have.
The 76ers next play the 1st place New York Knicks (25-16) Saturday, January 26th at 7:00 in New York.Tags: Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, losing streak, loss, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers, Spencer Hawes