Centers are the Philadelphia 76ers biggest weakness this season. Saturday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons showed why the Sixers are losing. Pistons’ big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe took advantage of the Sixers’ slim frontcourt. They both had a double-double in the win.
Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes couldn’t guard the Pistons frontcourt as they had their way on both ends of the court. Both Young and Hawes were outrebounded and had their shots blocked by Drummond and Monroe.
Hawes was limited to four points and eight rebounds on 2-8 shooting while Young had 14 points and four rebounds. They allowed Drummond to score a game high 22 points, grab a game-high 14 rebounds and block five shots. Monroe was just as tough. He managed to score 21 points and pull down 12 rebounds.
Hawes’ lack of physical play inside has made it tough for team in rebuilding mode. He shot a cold 0-3 on three-pointers. He had difficulty getting into a rhythm as the Pistons’ big men limited him.
As for Young, he’s more of a small forward. He has trouble defending bigger players in the post and tends to focus on the perimeter. He averages 2.14 steals per game.
Drummond and Monroe were mostly left open as they shot a combined 18-21 from the field. Coach Brett Brown needs to emphasize interior defense to his big men. The Sixers had a total two blocks the whole game.
If the Sixers’ centers and power forwards play inside defense, the games should be much closer and competitive.