The Philadelphia 76ers dropped Thursday night’s game to the Atlanta Hawks 104-95 falling to 5-7 on the season, while an immediate rematch Saturday night awaits. The lone productive player for the Sixers was Joel Embiid, who played 31 minutes. He finished with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field (0/3 3P) and managed to get to the line — adding eight free throws on ten attempts. Similarly, Atlanta’s #1 option, Trae Young, converted on all ten of his free throw attempts in 33 minutes en route to a 26-point scoring output.
Fifteen of Young’s 26 points were scored in the first quarter as the Hawks led 29-20 through twelve minutes of play. Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey shot 1-for-6 from the field in the first half and scored only two points as the visiting Sixers trailed 46-42 at the break. The Hawks managed to extend their lead to 80-66 entering the fourth quarter as Doc Rivers‘ halftime coaching proved to be ineffective. Additionally, Atlanta center Clint Capela contributed with 18 points (7/10 FG, 4/6 FT) and 20 rebounds (5 offensive) on the night.
The Sixers’ Struggling Offense
The Sixers’ offense continued its lackluster performance Thursday night. Philadelphia had more turnovers than assists — 17 turnovers to 15 assists — and a lack of impactful ball movement resulted in a deficiency in efficient looks. Doc Rivers’ rotation shot 39 percent from the field, including 6-of-30 from three. Twelve games in, the Sixers seemingly remain in the same situation as years past — Embiid is going to have to win MVP if this team has any chance of a Finals berth.
Maxey Without Harden
In relatively similar samples, Maxey’s scoring worsens while his passing volume improves in games without James Harden. The passing can be explained simply that, without Harden running the offense, Maxey’s Usage naturally rises. The dip in scoring, though, is a bit confusing. With Harden away, Maxey’s averages move from 19.9 points, 3.6 assists per game to 16.9 points, 4.6 assists per game.
A three-point dip in scoring without Harden is significant, especially where expecting a three-point rise would have been more than reasonable. These numbers show some of Harden’s value, as Maxey’s level of play rises with his backcourt counterpart active.
Doc’s Hot Seat
Wasn’t Rivers brought in to unlock Tobias Harris — who is now the team’s fourth option?
Thursday night, the Sixers were outscored in second-chance points by a margin of 15-4. Second chance points are gained purely through effort. Therefore, a 15-4 margin signifies a lack of effort. Also, post-game, Embiid may have increasingly sparked Doc’s seat with the following response:
Meanwhile, Harden has continued his recovery from a right foot tendon strain. The Sixers will be back in action as they return to Philly on Saturday, November 12th, versus the Hawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 EST, and the game can be followed on NBC Sports Philly and 97.5 The Fanatic.