It was a tough game to watch tonight in Cleveland as the Sixers looked lost without their star center Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, try though they did, were not enough to handle a surprisingly hot Cavaliers team.
The offense was choppy and the defense porous as Andre Drummond and the Cavs just had their way with the Philly team.
Without Embiid, the Sixers looked to Dwight Howard to fill the role of defensive anchor. Howard never even had a chance picking up two quick fouls that ended up limiting him to 18 total minutes.
Without Howard, the Sixers were left with new face Tony Bradley who, while effective defensive, was lost offensively.
Other than Bradley the team relied on a small-ball lineup featuring Ben Simmons at center. While that may prove effective in some matchups, against bigs like Andre Drummond, you’re asking for trouble.
Of course, Coach Rivers had no choice, as between injuries and foul troubles Simmons was all that was left. Regardless, it is still something for Rivers to remember as the season progresses.
Equally difficult to overcome, the Sixers struggled mightily to take care of the ball.
Turning it over 21 times, they did themselves no favors to fight their way back into this game. In fact, there was little “fight” at all.
The team seemed content taking difficult shots and rushing the fast break over allowing the offense to find a rhythm. There was not a single player safe from poor decision-making from Simmons, to Harris, to Sixers’ darling Shake Milton.
The effort level for the Sixers clearly was not there tonight. Their production was sad as was their effort. If this team has any heart they should look to bounce back on Tuesday when they tip-off at home against the Toronto Raptors.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire