One of the areas where the 76ers knew that losing Andre Iguodala would be problematic was defense along the perimeter.
In their 105-88 loss to Minnesota, the Timberwolves hit a Sixers opponent season-high tying 13 three-pointers (52 percent). What’ so scary about that is that the Timberwolves, until Tuesday, had been the poster boys for rancid outside shooting, having made less than 29 percent (a league low) of their three-pointers.
The Sixers have given up 10 made threes five times already this season after doing so just five times all of last season. In their eight losses, opponents are averaging 8.8 made three-point baskets (on 43.2 percent shooting). In the Sixers’ 10 wins they are allowing just 5.3 made threes (32.0 percent).
While this can’t all be attributed to losing Iguodala, it is somewhat disconcerting that the Sixers have added longer players (Dorell Wright and Nick Young, for instance) and teams are getting better looks at the basket from long range. It also speaks volumes about the intensity and activity that Iguodala helped to create along the perimeter. So far this season there has been none of that.
Hopefully the Sixers can correct this soon because if they don’t it will only become more problematic for them. They can’t wait until (or if) Andrew Bynum returns – when theoretically they will be able to extend their defense – because no one knows when that time is coming.