The streak begins. The Sixers lose to the Thunder, 103-99.
The 76ers took on the Oklahoma City Thunder in their second overseas preseason game in Manchester, England. The effort was there, however the execution was not, even though it was much better than I thought it would be.
The offense was much more fluid in this game; the off-ball action never stopped and they attacked the basket as much as possible. The Sixers ended up shooting 41% from the field and 40% from 3 on 12-30 shooting. I also liked the pace of the game. Brett Brown has made an emphasis of running when they have the chance. The Sixers assisted on 25 of 34 made field goals. The higher that percentage, the better off they will be because they lack a true ‘iso’ player and there is no need for high isolation usage in this offense.
Evan Turner led the way with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Michael Carter-Williams finished with 11 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds with only 1 turnover (I will be keeping a sharp eye on how many TOs he has throughout the season.) MCW also added a couple 3s, in which he did not hesitate to shoot when he had the opportunity. Tony Wroten added 20 points off the bench and both Thad and Spencer were once again underwhelming on offense, combining for 23 points and 13 rebounds. Last thing, the Sixers had 16 fast break points in the first half. The second half? 4. If they are going to run, they need to be more consistent about it.
The defense was meh, to say the least. Like Sunday, the Sixers allowed quite a few offensive rebounds (12). Rebounding will definitely be a problem with this team all year long. Perimeter defense looked pretty good, Evan was solid on KD and Thad did pretty well on Serge Ibaka. MCW got caught up in some picks (which was a fear of mine in Summer League play.) He’s going to have to bust his tail to get through those, every time he doesn’t recover it means some one else has to leave their man to help him. And speaking of terrible defense, Spencer Hawes was being pushed around and looked lost on PnR defense. I know Spencer wanted to lose some weight this off-season, but so far it hasn’t done a damn thing besides make him weaker on the block. Brett Brown has them double teaming, and I can only be led to assume, gambling on steals when they get the chance. He has shown that they will be an aggressive team defensively.
All in all, the game could have been a lot worse. The Sixers look to be competing hard so far, which is a good thing. The 76ers should be back in the US sometime early Wednesday morning, as they get ready to prepare for the Celtics on Friday.