Defense lacking in the fourth
Lance Stephenson was leading the charge that broke down the Sixers defense in the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s game. The Pacers outscored the Sixers 24-17 in the fourth quarter in which Stephenson had 12 of his 14 points. It wasn’t so much the Pacers’ scoring ability as it was the Sixers missed assignments in the early minutes of the final quarter. They left people wide open in transition, let people run unattended through the paint, and over helped, leaving guys open from deep. And, when Stephenson got it going the Sixers didn’t seem very intent on slowing him down.
The Super Bowl can not be escaped
A Sixers game in Indianapolis does not mean you can get away from Super Bowl talk, or sounds, or japes. E-A-G-L-E-S could be heard over the broadcast of the game, and Stephenson was flapping his arms like wings when he had dominating moments agains the Sixers. Enjoy it while it’s happening, because in a few days it will all be over.
Joel Embiid’s turnovers can’t be ignored
Yes, he is one of the guys that touches the ball the most for the Sixers, but for every turnover he commits it just means another wasted possession, another time that he ran up the floor, more fatigue, points for the other team, and on, and on. The Sixers are a team full of young guys, so every mistake is amplified because the domino effect is real. Seven turnovers is just too many, especially when the team had 18 on the night. I know this was his first time he played in back-to-back games, but it was not a good look.
The Sixers were 1-of-14 from beyond the arc in the second half of the game. It was reminiscent of their game in Milwaukee when they went 2-of-26 from deep. The cold nights are seeming to happen a little more often now which does not bode well in the latter part of the season. If anything the Sixers need to see their percentages trending upward.
Sixers can’t play their game
They are a team that likes to play fast, win in rebounding, and use the glass to spark fast breaks where they dominate because of length and speed. But on Saturday the Pacers beat the Sixers, 19-5, in fast break points and stole the ball 15 times to create their own opportunities. Even the other things the Sixers rely on were off a little bit. JJ Redick was nearly invisible despite playing more than 27 minutes, and the Sixers were never able to create any significant separation. The result — the Sixers lost the fourth straight road game and remain a .500 team.