The defense has been problematic once again for the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are reverting back to their old ways before their win streak in the west coast. Their defensive problems particularly showed in Saturday night’s 102-92 loss to the New York Knicks. The Sixers hardly played any defense as they stood watching Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony score past them.
On one play, all five Sixers players stood and watched the ball roll off the rim without paying attention to Stoudemire, who had a tip dunk as a result. Another play had Anthony spin past Thaddeus Young to get open for the alley-oop.
They are among the top teams in steals with nine per game, but have to do a better job forcing turnovers as they haven’t been averaging many steals in the last four games. The other issue is their opponents’ average 0.2 more steals per game all season. The Sixers also rank near the bottom of the NBA in blocks per game with 4.5, and their opponents’ average the most blocks against them with 7.1 per game.
Particularly the stat that needs the most improvement is their points allowed. They allow a league-high 111.2 points per game. During the Sixers’ four-game win streak, they held opponents to under 105 points per game. The improvements made during that stretch were simple — they actually played defense. Coach Brett Brown will have to work on having the Sixers play some sort of defense, considering their next three of four opponents are teams currently in playoff position.