WHERE’S THE D ?!?

I’m going to bypass the usual Rapid Reacts post that goes up the day after a 76ers game in favor of a look at some disturbing defensive trends over the last three contests. 

I know those of who are Nick Young and / or Kwame Brown fans will be upset to hear this news as both players had their best games of the season against the Lakers last night, but there are more important issues to take a look at right now.  We’re involved in a 3 game losing streak and defense or lack of it has had a huge role in this slide.

Obviously the Sixers have been without there best offensive weapon and best defensive player for the last two games and Holiday’s absence can not be discounted as a factor in this losing streak.  However, the Bulls, Pacers and Lakers were also ALL missing key players when they took the floor and they were able to overcome those challenges.  So, I don’t think Holiday’s injury can be completely to blame for the Sixers recent woes.  This is the NBA, injuries happen.  

Let me say that what follows after the jump is not going to be pretty…

Here is a look at some basic numbers from the Chicago loss:

  • The Bulls (without D-Rose or Rip) scored 96 points.
  • They shot 43% from the field and 36% on 3-pointers (4-11).
  • CHI placed four guys in double figures.
  • And grabbed 9 OREBS that produced 14 second chance points.

Here is a look at some basic numbers from the Indiana loss:

  • The Pacers (without Danny Granger and SG Lance Stephenson) scored 95 points.
  • They shot 45% from the field and 57% on 3PAs (8-14).
  • Indiana had four guys in double figure including 28 from Paul George who hit 5 of 7 from behind the arc.
  • Hibbert posted a double-double (19 & 13) and George Hill threw up a triple-double for good measures (15, 10 & 10) 
  • Indy grabbed 9 OREBS.

Last night against the Lakers was arguably the weakest defensive performance across the three games:

  • The struggling LAL (without Gasol or Nash) scored 111 points.
  • Kobe & Co. shot 48% from the field.
  • The Lakers posted 6 guys in double figures.  Of course Kobe killed us as always (34 points).  But the Sixers also let Darius Morris score a career high 15.  Darius who????  Additionally, the 7-6 allowed Meta World Peace to find his inner Ron Artest and pour in a very efficient 19 points (6-10; 3-4 from deep).  
  • The Lakers grabbed 11 OREBS and had 12 second chance points in the 1st half.

The perimeter defense was so bad last night that those stats needed their own bullet points section.

  • LAL shot 41% on 3’s. 
  • They shot a WFC record 10-15 from deep in the 1st half.
  • 5 different Lakers hit at least one trey.
  • Chris Duhon hit four 3-balls.
  • Hell, even Jodie Meeks was able to drill two 3-pointers.

Collins had the following to say after the Sixers hit defensive rock bottom last night:

“Unfortunately right now we are struggling mightily to defend the three,” Collins said. “We were outscored by 25 points from the three-point line and the free-throw line [combined].  I think our last few losses we’ve been minus-15, minus-9 at the three-point line, minus-6 from the foul line.  That’s tough to overcome.  We’re going to have to figure it out.  Last year we were one of the best three-point defensive teams in the league.  Obviously we’ve lost some key defenders and some speed and we’ve not been able to figure it out yet.”

Stopping dribble penetration and executing defensive rotations have been major issues for the Sixers in the last three games.  I know the loss of Iguodala and Brand has hurt us a great deal defensively, but I’ve seen high school kids play better on that end of the floor than the Sixers did last night.  Simply shocking for a Collins coached team.

DC better get this straightened out quick, because the upcoming schedule does not get any easier with @ Dallas, @ Houston, and Atlanta coming up this week and that’s followed by an 8 game road trip that features some of the best teams in the League right now.

Discuss…

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