Fundamentals, especially defense and rebounding, that’s what wins championships in basketball. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about high school hoops or the NBA, if you want to raise the hardware at the end of the season you have to do the fundamentals, the dirty work. Simply put, the 76ers don’t have anyone who is willing to get dirty and that’s why the current group will never get a sniff of an NBA title.
We all knew that the Sixers don’t play a lick of defense and that they struggle to clean the defensive glass, but last night’s loss to the Grizzlies showed just how terrible Philadunkia’s home team can be in both those categories. Last night was simply pathetic and the only question in our minds is how many times we will type that line this season.
Until the Sixers dedicate themselves to playing defense and taking care of the boards, the losing will continue. Which is really all that matters. None of our other notes or the so called “positives” we witnessed last night are worth discussing. It doesn’t matter to us that Louis went for a career high 31 points, because his ole’ defense on Mike Conley during the last minute of the game was inexcusable. Additionally he makes the wrong decisions in clutch moments leading to turnovers and ill-advised shots. We also don’t care that after his second straight big night (22 points, 6 rebs., 4 blks. & 4 stls.), Elton Brand looks to be officially back to his pre-injury form, because he can’t grab a board when it matters and his on-ball defense is brutal.
But by no means are Brand and Louis the only ones who deserve the blame. Those are just two extreme examples we wanted to bring to your attention to prove the lack of fundamentals on this team. Everyone on the Sixers, including head coach Eddie Jordan was to blame in last night’s loss. They all should be ashamed to show their face on the city streets today.
To become a winning team this year, the Sixers need to work on and get better at the fundamentals of defending and rebounding which are the team’s most glaring issues. Our biggest fear is that we don’t see a cure for these Sixers ills coming any time soon and we’ll be writing this post over and over again in 2009-10.