76ers still plagued by turnovers; Embiid, Simmons top the list

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Sixers head coach Brett Brown yells to his team during the second-quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Brett Brown was asked an obvious question, one that some folks who watch his 76ers play are wondering.

What are the Sixers doing to  minimize turnovers?

“They would be able to tell you better than me,”  said the Sixers coach, whose squad averages a league-worst 17.6 turnovers per game entering Tuesday.

“Right now, Ben [Simmons] and Joel [Embiid] are featured in the top six in the NBA in turnovers,” Brown added. “So trying to help them navigate the traffic.”

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Embiid is fifth in the league in turnovers at 4.2 per game, while Simmons is one spot back at 4.0. But they are not the only ones guilty of giveaways.

Rarely does a game go by that Robert Covington, Dario Saric and T.J .McConnell and several other Sixers don’t also get involved in the act.

Sixers stats | Most turnovers (player) | Most turnovers (team)

At times, especially late in games, the Sixers (22-21) play undisciplined basketball. They attempt passes that are too high. They also try to force-feed passes over the middle. The passes over the top are often picked off. The low ones using end up near ankles and shins and eventually out of bounds. Oh, and the cross-court passes are also an adventure.

“We feel internally that we have answers,” Brown said. “Some of it is on us. Some of it, the players have to own it. And I think collectively, we feel that we can fix it. We understand that it is a significant problem.”

However, it’s a problem that has been persisting since the start of the season.

McConnell out versus Bulls

McConnell, the Sixers reserve point guard, will miss Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in the Pittsburgh area.

Meanwhile, guard Jerryd Bayless (sore left wrist) and swingman James Young (gastroenteritis) are listed as questionable.

McConnell, a third-year veteran,  is expected to miss only Wednesday’s game. McConnell missed five games earlier this season with a strained AC joint in his left shoulder. He is averaging a career-high 7.7 points and 3.5 rebounds to go with 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals this season.

Bayless has missed the last two after re-injuring his wrist in Thursday’s victory against the Boston Celtics.  Meanwhile,  Young, who’s on a two-way contract,  didn’t participate in Monday’s game because of his illness.

The Sixers other two-way contract player, Demetrius Jackson, is sidelined with a groin injury. Meanwhile, shooting guard JJ Redick is sidelined with a fractured fibula head in left knee.

Sixers sign point guard to 10-day deal

With all of the guard injuries, the Sixers decided to bring Larry Drew II back.

The team signed the point guard to a 10-day deal. The signing is insurance for Wednesday night’s game against the Bulls.

This is Drew’s third go-round with the Sixers. The 27-year-old played in 12 regular-season games while on two 10-day contracts during the 2014-15 season and is determined to get back to the NBA. Drew was also a member of the 2017 Sixers summer-league team.