The Philadelphia 76ers Fourth Quarter Woes Continue


The Philadelphia 76ers proved competitive in the first three quarters of their three opening games.  But as seen in Saturday evening’s home opener loss, a troubling habit is developing. The Miami Heat defeated the 76ers 114-96 and held the Sixers to just 13 fourth quarter points. They nearly lost by 20 points in a game that featured 15 lead changes and 16 ties. That shows the drastic nature of this latest fourth quarter disaster.

For reference, the last time the Sixers started a season 0-3 was 2011.

The other night in the opening game vs. the Indiana Pacers, the Sixers scored 18 in the fourth. In the second game of the season vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, the Sixers scored seven. That’s correct, seven points.

Amidst the Project Hinkie chaos are missed layups, errant passes and dropped balls in accord with the late game runs. A series of runs in each game that has so far taken root in the third quarter and has remained for nearly the entire fourth quarter. I do believe the Sixers will stay the course, (and should) but this is going to get very interesting and a little worse before it gets better.

The fourth quarter breakdown’s happened like this:

Game 1: Pacers went on a 10-1 run

Game: 2: Bucks went on an 11-0 run

Game 3: Heat went on a 14-2 run

The Philadelphia 76ers are obviously going to break down the film and watch the runs as disturbing as that may be. As University of Kentucky coach John Calipari says, “Stats indict, tape convicts.”

Momentum in sports is a familiar topic and debate.

Here are a few observations amidst the chaos of the runs in the first three games:

  • The Sixers are fatigued in the fourth quarter
  • Philadelphia is turning the ball over in the third and fourth quarter
  • The 76ers are breaking down defensively in the late game
  • The overall focus and detail for possessions is lacking
  • Shoot quick and out of rhythm during the runs
  • Fail to get the ball inside consistently during the runs
  • Not enough foul calls
  • They cannot finish and it leads to fast break points or corner threes
  • Some of the players lack the physical strength to compete
  • There’s no unifying screen and roll game

The Sixers started the fourth quarter by missing six shots in a row. Turning the ball over a quarter of a hundred times is not a recipe for success either.

Coach Brett Brown realized that it was a combination of inexperience and lack of talent: “[The Miami Heat has] veterans who have played hundreds of games with each other late in May and June [and] we fatigued, and we just weren’t good enough.”

Chris Bosh could smell blood. The NBA All-Star dropped 30 and came within a rebound of a triple double.

More from Sixers News

Tony Wroten finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Brandon Davies contributed his career-high of 18 points.

Rookie Nerlens Noel only scored once in 25 minutes. Returning from injury is tough to do, but this rust will need to fall off fairly soon.

Michael Carter-Williams will need to return to play soon.

I also believe K.J. McDaniels will be a player.

A pleasant touch to evening was having Mo’ne Davis deliver the game ball before tip-off. She of course was the star pitcher for the Philadelphia Little League World Series Team that advanced this past summer before losing to Chicago.