Starting off the season 10-6 was nice for the Jrue Holiday-led Sixers, but as injuries take their toll and the schedule shows less games against Toronto, the team was bound to take a tumble. Though maybe not this far.
The Sixers have lost four in a row and seven of their last nine games. It's been a month since they held an opponent under 90 points. The DRtg, which used to be in the top 5, has fallen to 15th. And it's going to continue free-falling, baby, until they get someone in the middle to stop opposing teams from getting to the rim at will. They're consistently one of the slowest teams in the league (27th in pace) and they just get crushed in the half-court.
Without Andrew Bynum, a lumbering fellow, it's pretty miraculous that they're still trying to be a half-court team. I suspect they take at least 10 seconds waiting for Kwame Brown to get down the court, but dribbling out the other 14 seconds doesn't help things either. They're going to need to run more because they're just not talented enough without Bynum to score consistently in the most obvious sets of all time.
Well, now they get to play the fastest team in the league in the Houston Rockets.
You can probably guess I have many bro feelings for Daryl Morey and his Rockets. They get up and down the floor, they get to the line, and manage to keep their opponent from getting to the line. While the Sixers average almost 5 free throws less than their opponent, Houston averages 8 more trips. That's how you're supposed to do it.
James Harden should present a really difficult matchup for the Sixers. I suppose Evan Turner will cover him, but Harden is way too quick and strong and he'll pretty much have his way with Evan if they don't send help. The Sixers bigs are the worst help defenders this side of Bryce Dallas Howard, but they're going to need to step off Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik to curb easy buckets for Harden and Jeremy Lin.
If Jrue Holiday plays (no word yet), they'll have a shot. If not, well, let's hope Dorell Wright hits seven more threes.
And now: ABANDON SHIP!