Despite playing against a shorthanded opponent, the Sixers were unable to rise to the occasion against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.
Where It Went Wrong
Zion exploded for close to 40 points, while both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid really struggled to ever find their footing. Embiid was particularly off his game tonight, as he finished with a measly 14 points on 5-16 shooting. He spent pretty much the entirety of the night taking mid-range jumpers and contested fadeaways.
Normally, he would be banging down low with the likes of Steven Adams and Willy Hernangomez. With Embiid still hunting the MVP award this season, performances like these continue to see him creep further and further away from the conversation.
Simmons had a well-rounded game, recording 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals, but only finished with 10 points. He also really struggled to handle Zion on the defensive side of the ball. Coming into the game, this was a matchup that many were looking forward to.
A Lack Of Interest
Outside of Tobias Harris (who scored a team-high 23 points), the rest of the Sixers squad looked pretty disinterested down in New Orleans as well. Seth Curry put up a goose egg and Danny Green was held to eight points. The bench unit was much more helpful as they only had one double-digit scorer, Furkan Korkmaz with 12.
Outside of just pinning the blame on Embiid and Simmons for their lack of offensive prowess tonight, this type of loss feels like the result of an overall sense of disinterest. The whole team was flat. Guys weren’t boxing out on missed shots, players were avoiding contact when they could. On top of that, turnovers were aplenty, and the defense – specifically on Zion – was nonexistent.
While games like this are inevitably going to happen throughout a 72* game season, them happening against a rather poor Pelicans team is less than ideal. This especially true considering the fact that Brooklyn now owns first place in the Eastern Conference.
Can The Sixers Bounce Back?
The Sixers are back in action tomorrow night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are deliberately tanking at the moment. Hopefully, they can use such a matchup as a chance to “get right.”
If not, then the team really needs to take a deep look at themselves. Both the Pelicans and the Thunder are team’s the Sixers should beat with ease.