Philadelphia 76ers Go Back to Old Ways Defensively, Have 4-Game Win Streak Snapped

By Zach Slotter
76ers defense
Howard Smith – USA Today Sports

Well, as sweet as it was for that four-game run, the Philadelphia 76ers came crashing back to earth hard in a 126-95 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Everything they did so well during their trip out west did not come with them back to the east coast, and the team made a lot of the mistakes they usually do that had seemingly been resolved.

We knew Kevin Love was going to get his, and he did with 26 points and seven rebounds. But that is not the problem with the way this game unfolded. The Sixers made the same costly mistakes on defense that they seemed to have gotten away from. Spencer Hawes got absolutely abused by Nikola Pekovic as he went for 16 points and 14 rebounds in only 23 minutes. Hawes had no answer for Pek, especially on the offensive glass as he pulled down five boards, the same amount that Hawes had on the defensive end.

They also went back to surrendering the long ball. After doing an amazing job against the Portland Trailblazers, they came back tonight and allowed 16 makes on 26 attempts. That is 61.5 percent from three-point range; embarrassing isn’t even the word for that. Evan Turner too many times over-helped and floated off his man to let Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer tee-off from long range.

But the root of the problem has to be put on the rookie Michael Carter-Williams. Literally every single time down the court, Ricky Rubio blew by him right off the dribble. He went for too many gambles and left his teammates scrambling trying to pick up, which led to open shots and offensive rebounds.

The Sixers reverted back to their old ways in this one, and the result was not a pretty sight. They will look to turn it around tomorrow night against the Cleveland Cavaliers and will need a much better defensive effort if they want to get back into the win column.

Zach Slotter is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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