The Philadelphia 76ers lost last night’s game on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks, and this marked the 12th straight loss on the road for the young and inexperienced Sixers. The team has struggled this year, as expected, with an 8-20 record. Because of the roster that was assembled, no one really expected them to succeed.
With that being said, I still do think that there’s some things that can be done by players and coaches that would maximize the Sixers’ opportunities to win ball games, even if it’s still not a great chance. In this instance, I am going to look at head coach Brett Brown and bring into question his rotations when it comes to in game substitutions.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the Sixers’ bench is horrible. Outside of Tony Wroten, there has been little to no production from the second unit. In last night’s game against the Bucks, Wroten had a +/- rating of -9. Brandon Davies was also a -9, -8 for Elliot Williams, -1 for James Anderson and a whopping -13 in 13 minutes of play for Lavoy Allen. Compare that to the starters, who were all -4 or better besides Evan Turner.
In these circumstances, Brown can easily do a little damage control and not do what he did last night. The substitution pattern consisted of bringing in one player at a time off the bench every minute, starting with about five minutes left in the first and third quarter. It got to the point where, to start the second and fourth quarters, the entire second unit was playing together with no starters on the floor.
In these cases, it takes away the value of Wroten, because he has no help and the rest of the second unit doesn’t do much out on the floor. Why not run Spencer Hawes and Allen together and give Thaddeus Young and early break? Then, when Hawes needs a break, you run with Young and Allen or Young and Davies. The same can be said with a rotation of Turner, Michael Carter-Williams and Wroten. There should never be a time where all five starters are on the bench for the Sixers, because that’s when the team starts to fall apart. That’s on coach Brown to try and mix and match to find the combinations that can work.