Philadelphia 76ers have major struggles on the road

Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

One of the major issues that the Philadelphia 76ers are struggling with this season is with their ability to win on the road.

There are a lot of good things going for the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite a rough start to the month of November, the Sixers are still fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 15-7 record and still one of three teams in the NBA that are undefeated on their home court. While having a 10-0 home record is great, there is one major issue that is plaguing the 76ers and that’s there ability to win on the road.

They have a 5-7 road record which is the second worst among potential Eastern playoff teams, only the Orlando Magic have a worse record away from home. It’s not just the record itself that’s concerning, but the team’s and individual players’ stats as well. The graph below should be eye opening to how different of a team that Philly is at home versus on the road.

Team Splits Table

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/7/2019.

The biggest take away is that the Sixers defense is elite at home, but not away from it. There’s a 10.7-point differential of points per game at home versus on the road. They also allow less 3-point attempts and makes at home. The 76ers also average more steals and rebounds per game on their home court as well.

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The offense has it’s struggles on the road, with Philly struggling with ball security and their ability score as much. Both of those factors can be contribute to the lower assists numbers on the road as well. While the offense isn’t as good on the road, it’s the defense that is the main concern for the Sixers.

The team as a whole struggles on the road, but it starts with the two cornerstones of the franchise having their own issues on the road. Sadly, both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have struggled on the road this season.

At home this season, Simmons’ averaging 14.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 9.1 assist, 2.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, 3.8 turnovers and 3.3 fouls, while making 54.6 percent from the floor. On the road, he’s averaging 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 0.3 blocks, 2.5 steals, 4.0 turnovers and 3.5 fouls, while shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

There’s no denying that Simmons’ offensive numbers are down while away from Philly, however what’s the most concerning is Simmons’ defense on the road. At home he has a Defensive Rating of 95, but it jumps up (in a negative way) to 107 on the road. There’s clear signs the Simmons is lacking aggression for away games.

Embiid has is problems on the road too. On other teams’ courts, he averages 22.5 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.1 blocks, 4.5 turnovers and 4.5 fouls, while going 42.0 percent of his field goal attempts and 28.6 percent of his 3-pointers. In Philly, he averages 22.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.6 blocks, 2.1 turnovers and 2.8 fouls, while converting 49.3 percent of his shots from the floor and 35.5 percent of his attempts from deep.

Embiid sees a deep decline on both sides of the floor when he plays away. At home, he has an Offensive Rating of 121 and a Defensive Rating of 94. Both ratings get worse while on the road. Away from Philadelphia, he has an Offensive Rating of 100 and a Defensive Rating 104. For some reason, Embiid has sloppier play on the road versus at home.

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The Philadelphia 76ers road problems are connected to how well their two core players perform away from home. Embiid and Simmons need to step up their respective games on the road if the Sixers want to see any sort of improvement away from home. If the 76ers road problems don’t improve and they don’t get a higher seed for the playoff, then it might coast them a chance at a championship this postseason.