Well, let’s start with the positive. Sixers lost by only 16, verses 37. So, yay.
Still, the reasons why the Sixers lost the first match-up stayed the same. Sixers had trouble with taking care of the ball. They also had an amazing time struggling with guarding Ryan Anderson on the perimeter. I mean, they left him open so many times on pick and roll/pop situations. They would double up on the ball handler leaving Anderson open. Or, they would be slow to recover. Anyway, Anderson made things happen.
And again, Sixers turned the ball over. 18 times to be exact. Michael Carter-Williams had five of them. I’ll get to his night in a moment. Yeah, so, Sixers also couldn’t take advantage of their trips to the FT line. They went there 21 times…and only made 9 of them. Sixers missed out on 12 points. Sixers shot a decent percentage for the game. 45.7% isn’t bad at all. Ideally you want to get to 48; and Sixers shoot 47% for the season.
Alright, so, I spent most of my night watching the MCW-Jrue battle. And, it was clear Jrue had his way from the door. Known in Philly for his defense early in his career, he handled MCW like I figured he would. Defense is a team effort, sure, but MCW had those turnovers and shot poorly; 4-13 from the field. His frustration was clear the entire game. He earned himself a technical at one point. And then, Jrue couldn’t be stopped. Jrue ended up with 20 points on 8-13 shooting. He also had 13 assists and seven rebounds. Not bad and so Jrue-y of him.
Let’s talk about the rebounding battle. Like I said, Sixers were a leader in defensive rebounding, while Pelicans are leaders in offensive rebounding. Both teams just missed their season averages this game. Pelicans had 10 offensive while averaging 12.9. Sixers had 31 defensive boards while averaging 34.1 for the season. So, like I said, Pelicans missing would be interesting. However, both teams missing their averages can be attributed to the Pelicans shooting at 54.8% from the field, which is a lot better than normal.
Ultimately, the Sixers struggles with protecting the paint vs Holiday as well as Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon are what really hurt the team. Sixers tried so hard to come back but gave up so many easy looks that it was almost impossible. What a shame. There were a couple of times where the Sixers would score and then immediately the Pelicans would run the floor and score on a not set defense by the Sixers.
Still, it was a good game. Next game is on Sunday vs the Pistons.
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