In Memphis, the Sixers’ efforts to comeback in the fourth quarter just ended on Saturday night.
Falling 76 points into the final stage, the 76ers counterattacked and finally had a chance to win the game because Ja Morant missed a 5.9 second free throw opportunity. Ben Simmons pushed the ball to the ground and passed it to Tyrese Maxey at a key point. The rookie was unable to unbalance the long-range attempt.
Joel Embiid (right knee pain) and Mike Scott (right knee pain) did not travel with the 76ers on this trip. Seth Curry, Vincent Poirier (Health and Safety Regulations) and Furkan Korkmaz (Left Adductor Tension) are still inactive. Memphis returned to Morant, his first game since suffering a Grade 2 left ankle sprain on December 28, scoring 1
Head coach Doc Rivers said: “I don’t let our people make excuses. We have to get rid of this. This will be an extraordinary year for COVID injuries. Overcome it and win the game. …We cannot accept,’Well, When everyone is here, we will be fine.’ That is unacceptable.”
As for Embiid, Rivers emphasized that before the game, the 76ers were cautious about the health of their All-Star Center.
“It doesn’t matter. …but when something suddenly appears, we will jump on it, and at the beginning of the season we will become very smart,” he said.
The Sixers’ fourth back-to-back game of the season will end against the Thunder on Sunday night. Here are the observations they lost to Memphis:
What about Simmons Night
As in the past two games, Simmons did not create much for himself in the half-court offense. He missed the first five field goal attempts and didn’t score until a layup with 7 minutes and 45 seconds left in the second quarter.
When he was looking for a transfer opportunity, he also gave up the ball several times and accounted for 7 of the 76ers’ 22 turnovers. In their three losses, the team turned it over 20 times or more.
Rivers said: “Not the one who played tonight. For me, this is how we play. I thought we were a sloppy basketball team. When you play like this, you should lose the game. During the trip, 22 mistakes were unacceptable.
“I want to say that 22 to 15 people are not forced-just sloppy, car crashes, cutscenes passes, internal passes that should be passed. Then, I also think we extended the game without the ball tonight, and again, I just don’t like ours The way of playing.”
Compared with Simmons, his performance is more positive, in addition to scoring, he also continues to make contributions, including rebounds and assists. Any player who seems to be close to a triple-double in each of his games is obviously valuable and versatile, but the 76ers need Simmons to do better with the best offensive players. When Embiid is watched, he tends to set the tone on these nights, and his mistakes set the wrong tone.
Simmons said: “Every night is different. Before the game, I had a triple-double. The guys are painting and I found my teammates. Tonight, they are very convenient-a lot of hands and deflection caused mistakes. Just for Slow down without leaving my feet.”
Simmons tried a three-pointer in the second consecutive game, airdropped a long-distance attempt at the end of the first quarter, and an airdrop in the fourth quarter.
After Simmons was again listed as possible swelling of his left knee in Friday night’s injury report, his knee did not adversely affect his performance.
He said, “No, I feel good.” “Sometimes it tries to make me succumb. Tomorrow we will be back to back, so we will see how I feel. But overall, I feel firm.”
Rivers said before the game that the 76ers introduced the “low percentage” game they hoped to eventually install, although the team seemed to have some favorite moves when Simmons and Maxi were on the court. This is the third consecutive game of the two men together, and the 76ers hope they will increase familiarity while improving effectiveness.
The appearance we saw on several occasions began with Maxey’s “Iverson cut”, which flowed into the side pick and roll. Then, Simmons will usually open on the weaker side to catch the ball and attack the paint with steam jets. He missed the layup opportunity for the action in the first quarter. Since the preseason, the team has been playing a role in the game, and Rivers seems particularly inclined to use Maxey-Simmons in series.
Overall, the Sixers’ best offense of the season is to make Embiid a central figure. Without him to attract two teams, find no shooter and force defenders to fight, the 76ers made 7 of 25 three-pointers.
Milton continues to flourish as the sixth man
When the 76ers were asked if they aspired to be an NBA starter after the 76ers kicked off on Saturday, Shake Milton paused for a few seconds before giving the following answer:
“What I want to say is that I only want to do what is best for the team, anything that helps the team win. It doesn’t matter whether I start or not. This is an opportunity. Now I have a very good opportunity to substitute. Come out. If Coach asks me to start, then I will start, and I won’t have any problems. If he asks me to leave the bench, I will continue to do what I did. It’s that simple.”
There is currently no good reason to change Milton’s role. The 24-year-old mature player is free to run the 76ers second team, and has performed well in this job. On Monday, he scored 28 points on 10 of 18 shots. Now he has accumulated 102 points in the past four games and shot 63.6%.
On Saturday, Milton got another seven free throw opportunities. After entering the game, according to “Clean Glass”, 15% of his shooting attempts were fouled, ranking 98th among defenders.
Rivers hopes that he can continue to attack.
“For Shake, it’s interesting and I think it’s a good example because he has a great game (Thursday), it’s like he tried to get into the game so that everyone else can participate.” Rivers said. Tell him, “Shake it and move on. Step on the accelerator. Don’t let yourself back down.”
“I thought he flinched in the first half. I think in the second half, he went again. And I hope that no matter who is on the court, under any circumstances, Shake is like this every night, because that is his ability, and I’m trying to show him this. It might be Shake Milton every night. He is here tonight.
Howard stepped in
Dwight Howard (Dwight Howard) started his NBA career for the 1,048th time on Saturday night, marking his sixth time as a 76ers. For personal reasons, he should play again on Sunday with a Thunder team that is expected to have no Al Horford.
The 35-year-old had some good times, including missing Simmons’s free throw after dunk and rookie Xavier Tillman’s busy blocking, but as long as Embiid was on the court, the 76ers inevitably lost a lot of things on both ends. Howard is very offensive at this stage of his career, his rebounds, rebounds and rebounds are all his. What deserves Howard’s praise is that he did these things enthusiastically, and the minimum contract with the veteran is cheap.
Just like the 76ers lost to the Cavaliers last month, Rivers served Tony Bradley in the first half and then turned to Simmons as the small ball center when Howard was sitting in the third quarter. Bradley did get playing time at the end of the third and early fourth quarters, and he is likely to have a chance to win the trust of more new coaches on Sunday.