The 76ers lost a tough one last night to the Toronto Raptors as two players struggled to offensively throughout the game. Toronto outlasted the 76ers down the stretch 113-102. The “Process” had a rough 48 minutes on the offensive side of the ball. For an MVP candidate and the way that Joel is viewed in the league, last night was disappointing. 10 points is inexcusable at this point of the season for Embiid. That’s 16 points lower than his current season average which is an enormous swing in the game. When Jo is dominating on the block, getting to the line, and knocking down one or two 3’s a game you can feel the energy that it brings to the team. This is only the first crack in the liberty bell.
Sticking to Embiid’s performance, shooting 29.4% from the field, 0% from deep, and an overall -23 for the +/- is a game for him to forget. The way he is praised for his monster games then he deserves to be crushed for this sorry performance. Mr. Simmons is the next player who is going to take a nice long look in mirror after this one. Sure he almost had a triple double, but he could have had a quadruple double if you want to throw turnovers in there as well. The rebound stat in today’s NBA is a watered down stat with the types of shots that are taken, and the triple double doesn’t produce wins. There is no doubt that Ben is an elite talent and one of a kind at his position, but only taking 6 shots is something that I cannot stand. I really do not want to beat a dead horse with the jump shot comments so I’ll stay away for now.
Joel and Ben are without a doubt going to take the most heat for this one. With this being a potential playoff match-up in the second round or the eastern conference finals this performance is unpromising. Toronto went out a got significantly better this off-season. Adding Kawhi to that team makes everyone around him better. From the offensive end, defensive end, and transition game are all better with him in the line up. It makes you wonder what Kawhi would have brought to the table in this city. What’s done is done, and we did get an upgrade….that would be Mr.Butler.
Jimmy was the top scorer for the team last night with a high of 38 pts and 10 boards. 55% shooting is extremely promising and an even better 57% from down town. All he wants to do is win. Every game, every night, with no questions asked. JJ was outstanding being able to get 25 pts and pick up some of the scoring from Jo and Ben. The -21 +/- is a tough stat to look at being the second worst behind Embiid. Wilson Chandler must have been left in south Philly and missed the flight with him being basically useless last night. The overall team had 10 more turnovers, which is 10 less possessions, which is left points on the board.
Moving forward, the three points that I took away from this game are very simple. This team is a different team on the road dropping to 4-8. They are proving that getting a top 2 seed is a must once the playoffs roll around in a few months. This team needs their big 3 to be the big 3. Simmons, Embiid, and Butler need to be the top 3 scorers for the 6ers, with Joel and Jimmy getting at least 20 per game. Finally the bench depth on this team is something to look at moving forward. Adding a shooter or another scorer later down the season could be a card in the deck, but let’s wait to see if good ole Fultz can rehab his way back.. I believe in you kid.
The Sixers head to the Motor city again to take on the Pistons for some Friday night hoops which needs to be a win. No questions asked because they play them again on Monday at home. I feel like they’ve played Detroit 18 times this year it seems. A lot to look at from this game and the team is only moving forward and on to the next!
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports