Nov 01 2014

Sixers Sixer In Fourth Quarter, Lose to Bucks

Philadelphia 76ers 81 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Milwaukee Bucks
Nerlens Noel, PF 35 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -4This was an encouraging performance from the hi-top fade after an underwhelming NBA debut. Noel looked more comfortable on offense and was an absolute menace on defense. He put it all together for what will be his first of many double-doubles.

Chris Johnson, SF 29 MIN | 1-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -1The Chris Johnson experience has been a rocky one so far. He crashed the boards well and, well, that’s about it. Despite a strong effort, he continues to look lost on defensive and uncomfortable shooting the ball. If he can’t put it together soon, his days in Philadelphia may be numbered.

Tony Wroten, SG 35 MIN | 4-11 FG | 6-11 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 8 TO | 14 PTS | -6This was the epitome of a Tony Wroten game. For every flashy assist or electrifying attack at the basket, an errant pass or blown defensive rotation quickly followed. He showed that he can limit the turnovers and bad decisions in the season opener against Indiana though, and perhaps we’ll see more games like that, than like what we saw tonight.

Hollis Thompson, SG 35 MIN | 6-19 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -4Hollis “Future MVP” Thompson shot poorly, but helped open up the Sixers’ offense with some great ball movement, and gave his typically awesome defensive effort. He looked a lot more aggressive as well, which was encouraging after a mostly passive offensive performance on Wednesday.

K.J. McDaniels, SG 14 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -10McDaniels showed he can do a lot more than just block shots, draining a couple 3s as well as attacking the rim with reckless abandon in limited playing time. If you’re confused as to why he only got 14 minutes while Chris Johnson played 29, don’t worry, so are we.

By the Numbers

8:21 – Philadelphia failed to record a single point in the final 8:21 of the game. The wins will be few and far between unless the team can find a go-to scorer to lean on in crunch time.

Quote of the Game

“This guy’s got a full-grown mustache. What is he, a Ninja Turtle? A superhero? Come on, man.” – Malik Rose, Halloween Costume Expert Critic

Tweet of the Game

This is what the entire 2014-15 76ers season will be in a nutshell.

Parting Shots

Philadelphia’s defense showed its versatility, switching on basically every pick-and-roll Milwaukee threw its way. This was a change of pace from the typical “pack-the-paint” style of defense that the Sixers usually employ, and at times it suffocated Milwaukee’s offense. It’ll be interesting to see whether this was just a one-time experiment or if Brett Brown uses this strategy more often in the future.

  • robbybonfire23

    Can’t wait for MCW to return. Then, we have a real shot at winning games like this. Adding MCW and subtracting this Johnson imposter has to help, big-time, unless coddling a career front court 39 per cent shooter with no D-game is “The Answer” this season?

    The team may be “tanking” but is it o.k. if some of us fans enjoy the wins, as they sporadically appear?

    • Wesley Share

      This isn’t the same tank job as it was last year. You can actively root for wins.

      • robbybonfire23

        That is interesting, Wesley, but what is the difference between last year’s tanking and this year’s tanking? Do you mean this team is so bad they might win just one game per month, or are you suggesting something else?

  • Matthew Frank

    So let me get this straight. Noel signed a 3 year contract last year. The plan for Philly is to intentionally not try for 3-4 years (which by the way has been their mantra for the last 2 years). What are the odds that he will actually resign with an intentional loser at the end of his contract. If it were me, I know I would have to think long and hard about resigning with a team that seemingly does not want to help me on the court for fear that they lose draft position. Anyway, I guess we should just forget about basketball for the next 3-4 years and the next 3-4 years after that. I know though have patience, at some point they will actually try.

    • robbybonfire23

      Right now is a tough time for the players and the fans of this team to go through. But by the time Noel is up for another contract, it’s possible that Embiid will have established himself, and Saric will be here. Plus, other valuable pieces will have been added to the mix, via the draft and trades.

      Noel’s focus, right now, has to be on establishing himself as a front court force in this league. Neither we nor he know exactly what we have in Noel, right now and it may be springtime before we can confidently say he gives us an edge at his position, or we over-valued him. With a couple years to go before his contract comes up for renewal, just about the last thing Noel needs to think about is his contract situation. He has much challenging work to do, before then.

      Frankly, I will be happy if he plays well at both ends of the court and stays healthy, the team’s struggles all the while, notwithstanding.

      • Matthew Frank

        I know, I’m just being cynical. It’s hard not to be, when everyone in the organization makes no bones about wanting you to financially support them by dropping at least 100 bucks to go see an intentional sh*t show. But alas they are my team, and I won’t give up on them. It just stinks that basketball, for the foreseeable future, means for me that I won’t be really interested until I get to root against whatever team in the finals I dislike the most.

        • hk99

          But, here’s the thing. You don’t have to financially support them if you don’t want. If it’s not worth your dime to watch the youngest team in the NBA play hard and try to win while the front office tries to discover some diamonds in the rough – so far I like what I’ve seen from Malcolm Thomas – and the coaches develop their draft choices, don’t go. It’s not like you have to become a season ticket holder this year in order to ensure that you have tickets when they become good in a few years.

    • hk99

      Two corrections:

      1. This is year 2 of what is actually a 4-year contract for Noel. Next October, they will have the option to pick up the 4th year of his career. They surely will. After that, they’ll also have the ability to offer him the most money, so if things are heading in the right direction for the team, he will surely have incentive to re-sign here.
      2. As far as things heading in the right direction are concerned, the game plan is for this year to be the year that the team bottoms out. Next year, they’ll presumably have Embiid plus two more 1st round picks to add to MCW, Noel, KJ and Wroten plus whomever else from this year’s roster proves to be a keeper. They may not win 30 games next year, but if the plan works properly, they’ll show progress. Then, in 2016-17, Saric comes over and joins the team at the beginning of the season (the 4th in Noel’s deal).

      If – and I understand that it is a huge if – things play out according to the plan, when Noel is ready to become a free agent, this will be his best choice because (a) it will be a young, up-and-coming team playing that has already locked up (Noel’s former AAU teammate) MCW for the long-term, (b) it plays in a big market and (c) it can offer him the most money.