Kevin Durant made the Philadelphia 76ers look foolish Saturday night during the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 103-91 win. Durant is the latest star to take advantage of the Sixers’ struggling defense. Coach Brett Brown needs to get the Sixers to focus on their opponent’s top star.
Durant managed to rack up a triple-double against the Sixers. He ended up scoring 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. His scoring gave the Sixers the most difficulty as he blew past defenders and hit open jump shots.
Allowing opponents to blow past the Sixers’ defense has been their biggest problem. They need to stretch out the defense and double-team the top scorers.
Standing and watching opponents breeze through or get open looks has had an impact on much of the Sixers’ outcomes all season. Durant was left unguarded most of the time.
Their lack of a physical presence in the middle allows players like Durant to take advantage of the paint. Center Spencer Hawes is more of an outside defender and power forward Thaddeus Young is too small to guard bigger players. Hawes had only one block against the Thunder and pretty much non-existent on defense in the game as well as in previous contests.
Brown has to change his playbook on defense. The Sixers need to play more man-to-man defense to cut down on giving opponents too many open looks. Durant, as well as the other Thunder players, had many open looks they managed to shoot an astounding 52.6 percent from the field.
Once the Sixers start playing defense and using double-teams, the results will be much improved.