Offense wins games; defense wins championships. This isn’t entirely true for the the Philadelphia 76ers who are amongst the leaders in scoring but are terrible on the defensive end. They should make moves in order to improve on the defensive end.
The Sixers rank at the bottom of the league in points allowed, and this showed in Friday night’s embarrassing 121-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Sixers allow a league-worst 109.8 points per game.
The biggest problems for the Sixers are their transition and interior defense. They turned the ball over way too much against the Pelicans and allowed their opponent’s best post-player to torch them offensively.
Pelicans starting power forward Anthony Davis dominated the Sixers’ defense to score 22 points and grab five offensive rebounds. He managed to pull down 10 boards total in the win.
The Sixers also allowed Jrue Holiday to score 20 points, Eric Gordon scored a game-high 26, and reserves Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson added 16 and 18 respectively.
Evan Turner was the only Sixer to score more than every Pelican with the exception of Gordon. Turner’s 22 points kept the Sixers in the game. The problem for the Sixers has been their lack of defense. They allowed the Pelicans, who average 102.1 points per game, to score 121 last night.
No other Pelican opponent has allowed them to score more than 120, but the Sixers allowed them to have their way offensively. The Pelicans average 128 points per game in their only two games against the Sixers this season, and in both games the Pelicans came out on top.
Aside from starting center Spencer Hawes and to an extent Michael Carter-Williams, the Sixers lack defensive role players. Instead of focusing on next summer’s draft and signing explosive bench players, the Sixers should look for a forward and shooting guard who can force turnovers and grab defensive rebounds.