They were 14-0 at home…until this past Wednesday. The Philadelphia 76ers have hit a rough patch having lost three straight, including their last two home games. Are the Sixers falling apart?
Head coach Brett Brown’s team entered the 2019-20 season as one of the favorites to battle Milwaukee for control of the Eastern Conference. The Sixers won their first five games of the season before enduring their first low point. Philadelphia lost five of its next seven games.
Then, the 76ers did what they are completely capable of – taking over. Led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Philadelphia won 13 of its next 15 games. That includes a recent five-game win streak that saw the Sixers beat Toronto, Denver, and Boston consecutively.
Then, disaster started. Embiid did not play in a loss at Brooklyn where Philadelphia managed a season-low 89 points. The Nets won by 20.
The Sixers returned home on Wednesday night and welcomed Embiid back into the lineup. It didn’t matter. Philadelphia lost to Miami 108-104 despite 22 points and 19 rebounds from Embiid.
The Sixers lost again on Friday night at home to Dallas. Embiid put on a show again with 33 points and 17 boards, but Philadelphia was blown out by the Mavericks.
In the loss to Miami, the Heat played a zone defense on 38 of Philadelphia’s possessions. Dallas took note and followed that up by playing zone on 35 of the Sixers’ possessions. The Mavericks were without their star, Luka Doncic, yet still beat Philadelphia by 19.
It’s not time to panic just yet. Philadelphia is 20-10 and is sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. Only one game separates the Sixers from second place in the conference. There’s plenty of basketball to play, but the 76ers might want to rethink their zone offense…just in case.