Sixers Struggle Mightily, Stumble Against Celtics

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez (9) fouls Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

Was it great defense, poor offense, or something in between? The Sixers dropped one against the Celtics in a low-scoring affair.

In just an absolutely miserable game, the Philadelphia 76ers drop the first of their four-game road trip against the hated Boston Celtics. The Sixers’ record on the season is now 11-11 (make a wish), and the team is uncomfortably sitting in the 11th spot in the East.

Offensive Woes Continue

The Sixers’ offense hasn’t looked quite right for some time. Though they started the season as offensive juggernauts, the team has cooled down significantly. In large part due to the absence of players, yes though, Ben Simmons aside, the entire team is now healthy.

Most of the starters, from Joel Embiid to Tyrese Maxey, struggled mightily tonight against the Celtics. While Ime Udoka‘s squad implemented an interesting defensive strategy against Joel Embiid (having Jaylen Brown front Embiid), in large part, it seemed to be the Sixers themselves who were getting in their own way. This has been the case for some time now, but tonight it was especially clear.

There is no definitive answer as to what exactly is holding the team back offensively, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that the team is still trying to find their sea-legs after their bout with COVID. As we saw with Seth Curry last season, it can take quite some time before one fully recovers on the court after COVID. Oddly enough, Curry was the only starter who looked like himself tonight.

Seth Curry is That Guy Pal, Trust Me

While there were some impressive performances off the bench (Shake Milton), Seth Curry once again proved himself to be the model of consistency. With 17 points on 7-13 shooting, Curry was efficient, effective, and the only true knock on his offense is that he doesn’t shoot more.

Seth Curry has been one of the top performers for this Sixers team all season, and he once again showed how valuable he is. The Sixers should be looking to lock him up long-term at their first available chance because Curry certainly deserves it. Joel Embiid also deserves to have him as a teammate, for that matter.

It’s curious, however, that Curry isn’t a higher-volume shooter. Is it because he’s uncomfortable with that role? Or because he would fatigue too easily? Maybe, much like Ben Simmons, he is concerned about ruining his shooting percentage by taking more shots?… Okay, maybe not that one. Whatever the case, the only thing more Sixers fans could ask more of his pure volume. Seth Curry could easily become a more efficient Buddy Hield; he only needs the consistent volume.

Next Game Mentality

The Sixers will have the night off tomorrow as they travel to Atlanta for their next game against Trae Young and the Hawks. They’ll have to put this game behind them and focus on the task to come. Control what you can control; let the offense come to you.

Tip-off is at 7:30 PM, and you can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or listen live as always at 97.5 FM The Fanatic.