Now That’s Tanking

2getherwebuildmantracopyAfter dropping both ends of a back-to-back set this weekend, the Sixers have now lost six of their last seven games.  The last two defeats  — Friday’s loss to a motivated Heat squad and last night’s ass whopping by the Bulls — were simply too embarrassing to warrant a Rapid Reacts post.

At the end of the 2013-14 season, we may look back at this lost weekend in mid-January and recognize it as the moment when the season of the tank became unwatchable.

After the jump, a look at some of the disturbing trends and numbers from Friday and Saturday night.


We all know the 76ers defense has major, major issues, but what jumped out to me after the games on Friday and Saturday was the way the offense collapsed under pressure from two quality opponents.  At times the Sixers looked utterly clueless in their half-court offense and the up tempo attack we have seen for most of the year went bye-bye this weekend (12 FB points vs. CHI).

Part of the credit for the Sixers offensive woes belongs to the Heat and Bulls, two squads that boast very solid team defenses which turned the screws extra tight on the Sixers’ offense this weekend.  However, a great deal of the blame goes on the 7-6’s offensive weaknesses which were really exposed over the two games.  Here’s a look at the carnage…

Last night against the Bulls, the 76ers scored a season low 31 points in the 1st half.  Over the two games this weekend the Sixers averaged a total 82 points per night, which is well below their season average of 101.3 points per game.  When the Sixers cannot get out on the break, they struggle to score the ball.

The 76ers as a team were 4 for 39 from beyond the arc in their last two games.  For all the non-math majors out there, that’s 11% shooting on 3’s.  We all know that outside of Hawes, the Sixers lack a reliable 3-point shooter, but that pathetic shooting percentage has to be some sort of record.  Against the Bulls, the 76ers missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the first half.

Thad Young is officially in a slump.  He’s averaging only 11 ppg. over his last 5 runs.  This weekend he grabbed a total of 8 boards, shot 9-30 from the field (30%) and was 0-5 from behind the arc.  I can’t put my finger on what the issue is with Thad offensively.  He appears to have the same high energy level and he’s still making all the hustle plays.  #21 does not seem to be pressing either.  Hopefully Thad figures it out soon.

But Thad wasn’t alone.  The other two veteran leaders of this team, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, played some of their worst basketball of the season.  Hawes was 8-22 shooting against the Heat and Bulls and averaged 9.5 ppg.  Spence hit 1 of his 6 3PAs in those games.

Turner didn’t shoot the ball terribly (43.7%), but he wasn’t aggressive early on like we have seen him in the last 10 games or so. He averaged 9 ppg. in those two contests, which obviously is well below his usual output.  But what shocked me even more was that he put up only 8 FGAs vs. MIA on Friday and only another 8 FGAs vs. CHI on Saturday.  That’s just not the ET we have come to know.

The Sixers turned the ball over at an alarming rate this weekend.  They had 17 vs. the Bulls last night and 23 against Miami on Friday night.  During the west coast swing, the Sixers won 4 straight and a big reason for the winning streak was that Brown & Co. cut back on the TOs (only 13 per night).  Since that 4 game streak, the Sixers are coughing the ball up nearly 20 times per night.

Speaking of TOs’, MCW did his fair share of turning the ball over in the last two games (5 per night).  His assist to turnover ratio this weekend was roughly 1: 1.5.  OUCH.  When you combine that with his 8.5 points per game average and  6-29 shooting (20%), the stats spell a disaster of a weekend for the Rookie of the Year candidate.

The 76ers bench received a huge allotment of minutes on Friday and Saturday night (97.5 mpg.) and the results were 73 points and 38 rebounds…TOTAL.  We all know that the Sixers have no depth, but that’s an unacceptable level of contributions from your bench.  I have frequently questioned whether or not most of the 76ers’ reserves belong in the League and this wekkend did not change my opinion much.  This is an issue that must be addressed in summer 2014 if this franchise is going to take a step forward in 2014-15.


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