Sixers’ Slide Continues Against Durant, Nets

Sixers C Joel Embiid
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) looks toward the net during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia 76ers have now lost their third consecutive game against a team left shorthanded by COVID-19. It could be time to consider mixing things up. Outside of Joel Embiid (and Tyrese Maxey when playing), there doesn’t seem to be enough consistent ability on this team to make the team a legitimate playoff team, let alone a contender.

While Seth Curry (29 points) did the best he could to support Joel Embiid’s (32 points) attempt to will the team to victory, the rest of the team only managed to combine for 54 points. The team (Curry and Embiid aside) shot 31.2% from the field tonight and 27.3% from three, far from efficient numbers.

It wasn’t just the struggle of getting the ball in the bucket for Philadelphia; once again, the Sixers struggled to compete for rebounds against their opponent. The Sixers are the worst team in the entire NBA in rebounds per game. The Brooklyn Nets rank 17th (tied with Toronto), which is nothing special, but even without two of their top three rebounders, they were able to win the rebounding battle by ten boards. The Sixers frankly have no fight or sense of urgency when it comes to rebounding, and their lack of size hasn’t helped either.

By a score of 105 to 114, the Sixers lost to the Brooklyn Nets, who were missing Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Joe Harris, and LaMarcus Aldridge, just to name a few. Now, a team with Kevin Durant has a chance to win any given night, but when players like Nic Claxton have their way offensively, there’s clearly an issue.

What exactly is that issue? Well, unfortunately, there’s not one single answer. The best one can do to summarize it as such, though, would be personnel. The roster, as currently constructed, and the coaching personnel have been the largest all-encompassing reason for the Sixers’ failures.

This team is far from contention, and they likely will continue to be until one or more trades are made to remake this roster. That isn’t to say the entire roster needs to be gutted, but the Sixers had three healthy players (Harris, Green, and Simmons) who make a combined $79 million and combined for 19 points this game. This cannot be allowed to continue while Joel Embiid is in the prime of his career.