Sixers lose Heartbreaker against Suns: All you need to know

CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 06: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) waits for the play to set during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls on February 6, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)

The Sixers played host to the Phoenix Suns last night and while there was some good, there was plenty of bad that went into what turned out to be a tough loss. 

The 76ers started off the game going 0-8 from the field, but behind a great night from the duo of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris, they rallied to a 59-55 halftime lead over the Suns. 

While the Sixers were in control for most of the second half as well, things started to unravel late in the game. The Sixers lost 114-109. Here are some takeaways from the game.

Aggressive Tobias:

Tobias Harris hears his fair share of criticism when he does not play well, but over the last couple of games, his play has picked up. Tobias dropped 30 points, going 13-18 from the field, 2-4 from three, notching 7 Rebounds and 3 assists.

Harris was in attack mode from the opening tipoff, making quick decisions when the ball was in his hand and shooting the ball with confidence. He took advantage of mismatches at times when smaller players like Devin Booker or Chris Paul switched on to him, leading to another good showing in the 4th quarter. An aggressive Tobias will always be the best Tobias and is good for the Sixers as they move forward in the season.

Coaching Decisions: 

On the night where Doc Rivers was named to the Top 15 coaches list, it couldn’t have come at worse time. Rivers made some of his worst decisions since being named the head coach of the Sixers. He continues to struggle with rotations and staying true to form playing all bench lineups. 

There was nothing more egregious than when Doc trotted out on the court a lineup of Korkmaz, Thybulle, Niang, Danny Green, and Drummond while going up against the best team in the NBA.  

On a night where no one else really is giving you anything other than Embiid and Tobias, his decisions were only highlighted. There were many factors that played into the loss, but the lineup is something Doc Rivers can control, and once again, the rotational decisions hurt the team.

Late Game Execution/Turnovers:

It can be argued that turnovers and a lack of late-game execution were the main reasons for the loss. There were plenty of examples, but none bigger than with under a minute to go in the game. On back-to-back possessions, the wheels fell off. The offense stalled and Embiid took a contested step-back three on the first, and on the next possessio, Embiid stole the ball from Chris Paul and attempted to advance it up the floor, but proceeded to throw the ball out of bounds. 

Late-game execution has been absent from this team for a few years now, and is something that needs to be corrected if the Sixers really want to be contenders.

Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire