In order to prove my point, I went back through every loss that the Sixers have had since the regular season started. In order to prove that the problem is with scoring, all did was look at the by quarter score for each game. If I found that in each loss that the Sixers underperformed that would prove my point.
What I mean by underperformance is relative, since each game is different and has a different pace. On average an NBA team scores 100 points, some score higher and others score less but the mean is 100. Therefore, 25 points for quarter is considered to be an average score. Underperformance means a significantly lower score than 25.
When I looked at the data, I found that in every game the Sixers lost they had at least one underperforming quarter. In the case of the Sixers every loss included one quarter where they managed no better than 22 points. 3 points off doesn't seem like a lot but that turns out to be a 12 point loss over a full game. If you score 25, 25, 25, 22 your total is 97, if your opponent scores 25, 25, 25, 25 then your team scored 3 less. In that instance you should blame offense for the loss, not the ability to hold the other team down to your inferior production!
Conversely I also looked for any outlier scores above 25 for the other team, which would provide evidence of a defensive let down. While some teams did score more than 25, so did the Sixers, and the scores ended up over 100 for both teams. There was very little evidence to suggest that the Sixers defense is so bad that this is the reason for their losses.
Another thing that the data suggested was that the Sixers were a competitive team. Many times they were ahead at the half and is some instances by large margins. This was not completely consistent- although most of the losses were a result of a second half meltdown in some instances the team got off to a bad start. My conclusion is that the coaches player decisions have to be responsible, since in most instances the Sixers were able to score competitively at some point in the game.
Below is the data, gathered from NBA.com, I provided the score and noted which was the Sixers worst scoring quarter and when it occurred.
10-28 Orlando 120 106 2nd Quarter 41 to 20. In 4th Quarter Phila. 37 Orlando 20
11-03 Boston 105 74 All quarters were below 21 pts. All of Boston's were above except
11-08 Detroit 88 81 All quarters 22 points or less, Detroit won 3 of 4 quarters.
11-09 Phoenix 119 115 In spite of it being a high scoring game the Sixers managed 20
points in the 3rd, surenduring all but 2 of their 12 point lead.
11-13 Utah 112 90 Won the 1st Quarter. 18 and 19 and 21 scored in final 3q's.
11-14 Chicago 94 88 2nd & 3rd, 18, 18. lost 3rd by 5, and 4th by 2 nd half failure.
11-20 Memphis 102 97 Ahead 50-49 at half. 21-29 in the 3rd, Phila. regained a bucket in
4th. 2nd half failure.
11-21 Cleveland 97 91 Ahead 81 to 75 at end of third, score 10 points to 22 in the 4th.
4th Q. failure.
11-24 Washingtn 108 107 Close game, outscored 40-29 in the 3rd. Came back 9 in the 4th.
Very bad pshycholigcal loss since a win was expected, set up by failure in 3rd.
11-25 Boston 113 110 Sixers were in this one all the way, outscored by 9 in the 4th to
lose by 3.
11-27 Atlanta 100 86 2 poor quarters, 2nd and 4th. 18, 20. Outscored in 3rd and 4th by 4
11-29 San Ant. 97 89 19 in the 4th but ouscored SA by 1. Wrst quarter was 2nd, 29-22.
11-30 Dallas 104 102 20-29 in 2nd quarter. Phila. won 2nd half 59-47. 43 points in the
first half to 57 for Dallas was just enough. Atypical.
12-02 OKC 117 106 Sixers worst offensive quarter was 2nd, 22-25 worst defensive was
34-27 in the third. Ahead 55-54 at half.
12-05 Charlott106 105 Behind by 1 end of the half. 19-28 in the 4th.
12-07 Denver 93 83 Only decent quarter was the first, 26. Worst output was the 4th 18
pts, against Dever's best 30. 4th quarter failure.
12-09 Detroit 90 86 16 point first quarter. They lost the 3rd. 25-21, the difference in
12-11 Houston 91 96 13 pts. to 28 for Houston in the third.
Losing streak ends.
12-16 Cleveland108 101 21-25 in the 4th quarter. Sixers won the 2nd by 1. Trailed by 6 at
12-19 LAC 112 107 18-30 Clippers in the first. Never looked back.
12-22 Wash 105 98 19-33 in the 4th.
12-26 Utah 97 76 12-25 in the 4th. Sixers scored 39 pts. in the first half. And got
12-31 LAC 104 88 14-29 in the 3rd. Ahead by 2 at the half.
01-05 Wash 104 97 17-26 in the 4th. Ahead by 14 at the half.
01-08 Toronto 108 106 21-25 in the 4th. In spite of being in it the whole game, they got
outscored in the end. Ahead 60-40 at the half.
01-13 NY 93 92 24-25 in the 4th. Same failure, just a smaller advantage because
the Knicks are a bad team.
01-18 Minn. 108 103 18-33 in the 3rd. 57-40 Sixers at the half.
01-20 Portland 98 90 Portland won every quarter, xcept the 3rd. 22-27 in the 4th.