Well it was bound to happen eventually. After three straight surprising and comeback wins, the Philadelphia 76ers ran into a brick wall; hard. They suffered another halftime deficit, this time against the Golden State Warriors, but the lead built in the third quarter and 76ers dropped their first game of the season by the score of 110-90.
Big picture the Sixers are still 3-1 and still a surprise to many around the league with the way they’ve played so far. They struggled shooting, hitting only 35 percent of shots and 20 percent (5-for-25) from three. Poor shooting nights are going to happen, especially with young teams. There were issues elsewhere that were more alarming and that could have more long-term effects.
The Sixers were exposed in two major categories; three point defense and turnovers.
The Sixers allowed the Warriors to go 15-for-38 from three-point range. The Warriors do have two of the best shooters on the planet in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson but they allowed former Sixer Andre Iguodala to go 7-for-11 from three-point range. That simply should not happen. The Sixers will be a team that will struggle to score sometimes and if that is the case they can’t give up 15 threes. They need to run teams off the three point line and force them into contested two pointers. Three-point defense has been a problem in the past and it is causing the Sixers to give up well over 100 points every game this season.
Another aspect of the game that contributed to the Sixers loss was 24 turnovers. This is the first time they’ve turned the ball over more than 20 times this season and it really hurt them because fast break opportunities led to easy buckets and open threes. Evan Turner had five turnovers and Michael Carter-Williams had six, unacceptable for the two primary ball-handlers on a team.
To put it simply, there are nights a roster like this is going to struggle. Spencer Hawes, MCW and Thaddeus Young all proved they are human tonight. But a poor shooting night can’t be coupled with turnovers and horrible defense. That’s when a team goes from Cinderella story back to harsh reality. The Sixers will try to right the ship with three more games this week and need the defense to step up in order to do so.