GRADES: Shallow Sixers can’t complete comeback vs. Knicks

Seth Curry, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Seth Curry, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks came into town with confidence. Julius Randle and R.J Barrett had plans of ending the Sixers’ six-game winning streak. When the teams met earlier this season, the Knicks won by thirteen points. Fans from throughout the city of Philadelphia yearned for a different result this time around. Monday’s regular-season game served as a chance for the Sixers role players to show their growth.

Doc Rivers and his coaching staff were forced to reshuffle the roster this week. News of Joel Embiid’s positive COVID-19 results forced the team doctors to take immediate action. Philadelphia’s All-Star center joined Tobias Harris, Isaiah Joe, and Matisse Thybulle on the team’s health and safety protocols list. Andre Drummond and Georges Niang both received more minutes as a result.

Philadelphia failed to gain momentum during the four quarters of play. It was evident that the squad missed the shooting provided by their veteran leaders. Julius Randle and the Knicks stole a pivotal piece of the game’s momentum before halftime. Doc Rivers and his ball club tried to fight until the end, but the Knicks had already done their damage.

Grades from the Sixers’ home loss to the Knicks

  • Seth Curry: C-

41 mins | 14 pts | 4 reb | 6 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 3 TO | 4-10 FG | 2-6 3PT| 4-4 FT | 5 PF | -6 |

Shooting became an issue for Seth Curry Monday night. Philadelphia’s starting shooting guard finished the game with a 40 percent field goal percentage. His consecutive 3-point shots gave the Wells Fargo center an enormous burst of energy in the first quarter of play, but the praise quickly came to an end.

Curry’s efforts in the Sixers’ attempt at a comeback were not enough to come away with the victory. His six assists are commendable, but his team needed more. If Seth Curry had a better shooting performance, the 76ers would have a better chance of making a successful comeback.

  • Andre Drummond: B-

38 mins | 14 pts | 25 reb | 1 ast | 0 stl | 2 blk | 1 TO | 5-9 FG | 0-0 3PT| 4-6 FT | 2 PF | -5 |

Joel Embiid’s absence added pressure to the Sixers starting five. Andre Drummond served as the only big man listed on Philadelphia’s starting lineup. Drummond did not let lack of help stop him from working in the post. His 25 rebounds kept the game within reach for the 76ers in the late-game stretch.

Much could be desired of the veteran’s point production. 14-point totals will not be enough to cover for Joel Embiid during his absence. Passing the ball in double teams would also help Drummond find open opportunities to score easy buckets. His lack of assist did not help the team in their comeback efforts either.

  • Tyrese Maxey: C

39 mins | 16 pts | 9 reb | 5 ast | 2 stl | 1 blk | 0 TO | 6-19 FG | 3-6 3PT| 1-2 FT | 3 PF | +5 |

Effort will always be judged when the Sixers suffer a tough loss. Tyrese Maxey should pass the standards of the Philadelphia fans when evaluated Tuesday morning. His shooting performance was the only cause of concern. Maxey finished the game shooting 32 percent from the floor. Kentucky’s former guard showed hustle in other areas of the game that earned him a passing grade. Maxey’s nine rebounds and five assists are enough to offset a poor night from the field.

  • Danny Green: D

30 mins | 8 pts | 1 reb | 3 ast | 2 stl | 3 blk | 2 TO | 3-9 FG | 2-8 3PT| 0-0 FT | 0 PF | -5 |

Doc Rivers teams have thrived when there is an active shooter on the floor. Philadelphia’s front office added Danny green to the roster because of his shooting ability. His performance on Monday showed otherwise. Green finished the night shooting 20 percent from the 3-point line. Philadelphia’s 12-year veteran struggled to hit from everywhere. When the Sixers needed someone to make a veteran play, Green failed to step up. His three assists did not get the job done.

  • Furkan Korkmaz: B

40 mins | 19 pts | 3 reb | 2 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 7-16 FG | 5-12 3PT| 0-0 FT | 0 PF | -6 |

Fans in the Wells Fargo Center had a hard time watching their team lose. If anything made the game worth watching, it was Furkan Kormaz. Philadelphia’s fourth-year shooting guard continued to score points despite his team’s disposition. His 19-point performance was a result of efficient scoring. Korkmaz knocked down five of the twelve 3-point shots that he attempted. It was clear that the Sixers were pressed to feed the hot hand. Some of the shots that Korkmaz attempted required pure practice. The league has been made aware of his special shooting abilities.

Depth in the roster will prove to be important for Philadelphia throughout the regular season. New safety and health protocols can impact a team in more ways than one. Important players could be sidelined at any moment. Doc Rivers and the Philadelphia 76ers must adjust their game if they want to win in Embiid’s absence.

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