The 76ers lose yet another hard fought game without Joel Embiid. Costly turnovers, defense, and shooting down the stretch were the deciding factors. The Indiana Pacers were up by 12 going into the fourth quarter and the Sixers managed to cut the lead down to five with two minutes left. This has seemed to happen with all of their last four losses. It is encouraging to see because we know this team has fight and wants to win. That being said, there were still some very negative parts about this game.
Furkan Korkmaz started off the season red hot and has since cooled off quite a bit. Not only has he been struggling from behind the arch, but he forces up shots that are very unnecessary. Korkmaz has done this in very important possessions in recent games. Now, Tobias Harris did score 32, but he did not look pretty down the stretch. He was turning the ball over and missing layups, it was like the Atlanta Hawks series all over again. Perhaps the hardest thing to watch Sunday night was our defense. There were drives where players stood and watched a Pacer drive to the basket. This has been happening consistently where they give up baskets that are way too easy.
The one big bright side is that Tyrese Maxey showed up yet again. Maxey scored 24 on 10-15 shooting including 3-4 from deep. Over the last three games Maxey has averaged over 29 points a game. It is very refreshing to see that he can play as the starting point guard and play very well. Maxey is now up to 17.6 ppg on the season and I expect that number to keep going up.
This was another frustrating game to watch, but at least there were some bright sides to it. The one thing we’ve learned in all of our four straight losses is that this team won’t give up. With Embiid back in the lineup, this team will do very well. We get an extra 20-30 points, more defense, and way less fatigue. This stretch has to have been exhausting for these players with all of the extra playing time. Thankfully, Embiid will be back soon and we can get back in the W column.