NEW YORK — Here are my key takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 116-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.
— The Sixers haven’t shown much improvement in recent weeks. Regardless of who’s on the court, they make the same mistakes and fail to make late defensive stops game after game after game.
— Robert Covington has turned into the Invisible Man. The Sixers small forward attempted just three shots, making two, and scored six points. The three shots were his fewest attempts in any game this season.
— Jerryd Bayless might not be in the Sixers’ long-term plans. Despite being their top free-agent acquisition in 2016, the combo guard didn’t see any action Wednesday night. Bayless and Sixers coach Brett Brown both said it was the coach’s decision not to play him.
— The Sixers were, once again, doomed by their bench. Their five reserves – T.J. McConnell, Amir Johnson, Justin Anderson, Trevor Booker and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – graded out at a combined minus-54.
— Luwawu-Cabarrot transferred back to his normal role, the fifth man off the bench. He was a starter for six straight games, because of injuries to Bayless and JJ Redick, in which he found his three-point stroke.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
— Best performance: Ben Simmons would have won this award if there were only two quarters in a basketball game. That’s when the Sixers point guard made 9 of 11 shots to score 18 of his 24 points. Then there’s Joel Embiid, who had game highs of 29 points and 14 rebounds. Like Simmons, he did it in a losing effort. Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets to victory. He receives the award after scoring nine of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.
— Worst performance: I had to give this to Luwawu-Cabarrot for failing to score and missing all four of his shots, including three three-pointers.
— Best defensive performance: This goes to Quincy Acy. The Nets power forward finished with two blocks and two steals.
— Worst statistic: Simmons’ taking only five shots after intermission. He was unstoppable in the first half. It would have been interesting to see how many points the point guard would have scored by remaining aggressive.
— Best statistic: The Sixers committed a season-low eight turnovers.
— Worst of the worst: This also has to go to the Sixers’ losing to another struggling team. This marked the Nets’ first Atlantic Division win in 10 tries.