Bench Must Show Improvement In Order For Philadelphia 76ers To Win

By Alan Gung
Lorenzo Brown
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers need more than Tony Wroten to step up from the bench. The Sixers’ bench was outscored in Wednesday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors 28 to 33. Even Wroten didn’t do enough to help them out.

The lacking effort from the bench could also be a strategy from Sixers’ management to further tank in order to get the No. 1 draft pick. The Sixers’ bench consists of third stringers and D-League-type players who are playing better than expected.

Coach Brett Brown doesn’t seem to want to tank as well as most head coaches in the NBA, so the effort from his bench is starting to fade after an impressive start.

Wednesday night’s game is a precursor to how the bench will do all season. The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors may also be tanking, but they have a better bench. Unlike the Sixers’ bench (no one scored in double figures), the Raptors had two reliable players in Terrence Ross and Steve Novak. Ross scored 17 points, while Novak had eight.

Wroten scored nine and Lavoy Allen had seven, however, neither player had an impressive shooting night, which held the Sixers back. Wroten shot 3-for-11 from the field and Allen was 1-for-4 from the free throw line. This is another problematic area the Sixers have been dealing with all season.

Unlike Wroten, Ross was more accurate, shooting 7-for-11 from the field. The Sixers will need a few bench players to step up, otherwise they’ll continue to slide down the division quickly. The Sixers are currently second in the division with a 5-8 record.

The Sixers lack identity, but it doesn’t help when the bench disappears. The only major note is newly signed guard Lorenzo Brown, who scored five points in one minute of action in his NBA debut. Brown also shot a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and 1-for-1 from three-point range.

Brown’s minutes should increase, and so should his performance, as long as he doesn’t disappear like Wroten on Wednesday.

Alan Gung is a Philadelphia 76ers writer for Follow him on Twitter @AlanGung, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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