Five thoughts after a lopsided Sixers loss to Nets


Sunday night did not go well for a 76ers team that struggled through all four quarters to a final score of 122-97. The team is now 6-5 on the season, all wins coming at home and all losses coming on the road. Here are some of the main takeaways from the Sixers poor effort in Brooklyn:


Turnovers are still a huge problem
Ever since the beginning of “the process”, the Sixers have struggled greatly with turnovers. This was fine when the team was young, inexperienced, and not expected to win, but the turnover problem has continued even as expectations and skill on the team have changed. The Sixers had a season-high 27 turnovers against the Nets, which resulted in taking 40 less shots than their opponent and really giving themselves no chance to win. The team simply can not expect to win when this is the case, and the time has come for the team to outgrow the turnover issue.


Simmons’ struggles are very concerning
Ben Simmons’ struggles this season have been masked by more glaring issues, such as Dario Saric and what to do with Markelle Fultz. Simmons’ stat line doesn’t look all that different, but he has been a big part of the team’s turnover struggles, adding another five  Sunday night. In addition, he is shooting at a rate of 47%, not an ideal percentage for someone who takes most of his shots at the rim. The biggest problem with Simmons is that he had a long, healthy summer and looks the same, if not a bit worse than he did last season. This should alarm the Sixers, as Simmons has added nothing to his game in a league that adapts very quickly.


Dario Saric needs to be pushed out of the starting lineup
Dario is still unable to find his shot, which is bad for any player and worse for one who is already slow, unathletic, and ineffective on defense to begin with. It feels like Brown inserts him into the starting lineup every game and hopes that he will come out and play well. This doesn’t look to be the case, and Brown is catching on, as he has given Muscala many crunch-time minutes the last couple games, and Muscala played more minutes than Saric again tonight. It’s time to get Saric out of the lineup, whether that means replacing him with Muscala or JJ Redick.


The Sixers offense relies on 3s and Embiid
The Sixers shot roughly 20% from beyond the arch, and Embiid took only 8 shots. Turnovers or no turnovers, the team will not win with either of these are the case. The team almost lives and dies by the 3, with Embiid the only factor to keep them in games in which they are shooting poorly.   Tonight, neither of these things were going for the Sixers, which cost them any chance of coming back into the game.


Where is the defense?
The Sixers strong defense of 2017-2018 seems to have left them, as they are giving up a lot of open looks from beyond the arch and at the rim. Sunday night showed this again, as the Nets dropped 122 points on the Sixers. Late in the game, whenever the Sixers made a couple consecutive shots, they gave up another open look to the Nets. This kept them from having a chance at clawing back into this game, and must be fixed if the Sixers want to start to win games on the road where they don’t get any momentum help from the crowd.


Up next: The Sixers play the 7-3 Pacers in Indianapolis Wednesday night at 8.


Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports