Once again, the Philadelphia 76ers‘ slim frontcourt has been a problem. Former Sixer Nikola Vucevic and big men Andrew Nicholson and Glen Davis dominated the paint for the Orlando Magic in a win against the Sixers Thursday night.
The Sixers big men, consisting of Daniel Orton, Lavoy Allen, Brandon Davies and Thaddeus Young, had difficulty shutting down Vucevic, who managed 21 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and three blocks while shooting 10-13. The Sixers’ frontcourt combined for a total of 18 rebounds and two blocks.
An inside presence has been lacking for the Sixers. Offense hasn’t been as much of an issue, especially with Young in the lineup; defense is the problem. The big men had a tough time with transition defense, and allowed the Magic to attack the basket unguarded. The Sixers clearly miss starting center Spencer Hawes, who’s still out with a sore left knee, as well as the presence of draft pick Nerlens Noel.
Aside from Young, who just came back after missing a few games, the game would have been worse. Young scored a game high 26 points and pulled eight rebounds. The rest of the frontcourt didn’t make much noise inside. Allen grabbed seven rebounds, but failed to block a shot.
Another issue is thar swingman Evan Turner had the most rebounds, and the Sixers backcourt had the same total blocks as their frontcourt. Turner had 11 boards.
Injuries have taken a toll on the Sixers, but the Sixers’ big men will have to improve their inside game. They’ll have to get in better position, otherwise their losses will be determined by an opponent’s inside game.