The Sixers traveled down to Washington for a match-up against the struggling Wizards. Philadelphia managed to spoil Embiid’s first 20-20 game of the season. In this game, Tobias Harris also scored 33 points and Ben Simmons had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. Leaving Washington with yet another road loss, the Sixers dropped to 5-7 away from the Wells Fargo Center.
Harris scores, but struggles continue
Tobias Harris may have scored 33 points, but he shot 13-28 from the field. Harris has struggled to find his place in the offense since he was traded to the Sixers from the L.A. Clippers. A 40% three-point shooter over the past three seasons, Harris has shot a mere 31% from three since coming to the Sixers. Harris is an obviously talented scorer but his efficiency has flat-lined in this offense.
Harris’ ill-fit causes the Sixers more issues than they can afford. The Tobias Harris experiment may never work out for Philadelphia and both parties may be better off with a change of scenery.
Embiid/Simmons have friendly contest
The game within the game tonight featured the Sixers’ two most prominent stars. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had a friendly concert to see who can turn the ball over the most. That is, at least, the only rational explanation for the two have 15 turnovers between them. Turnovers have long been an issue but this level of carelessness is inexcusable. No team will not have a shot at victory if they are turning the ball as often as the Sixers are. Coming into the game the Sixers ranked 28th in turnovers with 15.8 turnovers per game. Keep in mind this is before the 21 turnover effort.
The team as a unit will need to eliminate this issue or they won’t be able to succeed in the playoffs. It starts with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the stars/leaders of the team. If they’re not taking care of the ball, then why should the rest of the team care?
The Sixers actually played good basketball in most aspects tonight, yes they had some issues defensively but they shot well and clearly were able to score the ball. The prime issue the Sixers had was their lack of care for the basketball.
Better luck next time
The Sixers have no choice but to try and learn from this game and prevent these issues in the future. Make the smart pass, take the open shot, these philosophies, while simple, will keep their game clean enough to win.
Thankfully for the Sixers they will be returning home where they have a perfect 10-0 record to play the underwhelming Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the perfect opportunity for a “get right game”. They need to be cautious that it doesn’t become a trap game though. Cleveland is not a particularly competitive team at 5-15 but, with an assortment of scoring guards, the Sixers could drop what should be an easy win.
Keep an eye on Cleveland combo-guard Jordan Clarkson as the Sixers are rumored to be interested in a trade for him.
The Sixers and Cavs will meet up at 7:30 PM EST with coverage beginning at 7:00 PM. Watch on NBA TV or NBC Sports Philadelphia, or listen live on 97.5 FM the Fanatic.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports