The Sixers just played games at home on consecutive nights. Both games resulted in losses for Philadelphia who are now sitting at 23-12 overall and 13-6 at home.
The New York Knicks handed the Sixers a 128-92 loss on Friday night.
The Sixers fell to the Utah Jazz 120-109 on Saturday night.
Double-digit losses at home on consecutive nights are not indicative of the expectations that this team has set for themselves. So what went wrong?
1. Three-point shooting has been awful
One doesn’t need to look much further than the 3-point disparity in the matchup with the Knicks to find the reason for the blowout loss. Philadelphia made just 6 threes on 23 attempts (26.1%), and the Knicks made 18 threes on 43.9% shooting. The Sixers lost the game by 36 and they were outscored beyond the arc by 36.
On Saturday night, not only were the Sixers unable to right the ship, but their 3-point shooting was even worse. Philadelphia made just 7 threes on 38 attempts (18.4%). Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Nicolas Batum combined to shoot 2 for 19 from beyond the arc.
2. Injuries in the starting lineup
Starters Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and De’Anthony Melton did not play in the loss to the Jazz. A team that finds great pride in their depth was unable to overcome the absence of these 3 contributors, including the NBA’s reigning MVP. Throughout Joel Embiid’s career, the team’s ability to perform without his being on the floor has been a concern. A performance like this against the Jazz only adds fuel to that conversation.
Calling it how it is, this Sixers team did not perform well in either of these games. Offensively, they lacked continuity and shot-making, while defensively, their way too many mishaps and miscommunications to overcome.
The Sixers will have 3 days off before their matchup with the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM ET.