Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The 76ers looked tired and undermanned in their 109-86 loss to the Spurs to end their 8 game road trip with a 2-6 record. The 76ers have lost 25 of their last 26 meetings with the Spurs in San Antonio.
There's really not a whole lot to say about this one.
The 76ers don't win in San Antonio as-is. The 76ers have lost 25 of their previous 26 games against the Spurs in San Antonio. If everything goes their way the Spurs would still be prohibitive favorites.
Put them at the end of an 8 game road trip, where they've played 4 games in 5 nights, on the tail end of a back to back after having just played in Oklahoma City the night before, against a Spurs team that had the night off (albeit had to travel back from New York)?
The outcome of this one shouldn't have been a surprise to anybody. The Spurs simply outclass the 76ers.
The Spurs jumped out to a 9-2 lead only 2 minutes and change into the game and never looked back. The 76ers were able to keep the game within hail mary distance in the first half, but the game never felt like it was in doubt. The Spurs were able to extend their 12 point half time lead to 18 points by the end of the 3rd quarter, and the 4th quarter was a mere formality. Jrue Holiday didn't even play in the final 8:26 of the game.
Jrue Holiday provided a stretch of play in the second quarter that was at least entertaining, making a serious of passes that continues to give fans hope if the team is ever able to field a competent front court, but overall he struggled finding his own offense. The starters as a group shot 35.8%.
Two unexpected bright spots: Spencer Hawes and getting to the line in the first half. Both come with negatives.
Spencer Hawes scored 22 points on 10-13 shooting. While still providing some Spencer Hawes moments, he had a rare positive impact. The negative is that he wasted that effort on a game that was virtually never competitive while he was on the court. We'll have to wait another 2-3 weeks before we get that kind of contribution again.
The 76ers were able to get to the line 16 times in the first half. For a team that is last in the league in free throw rate (for the second year in a row), that's always great to see. But they shot only 65% from the line for the game.
Other positives? You'd struggle to find them. Thaddeus Young hustled his rear end off, and had a number of deflections and hustle blocks that in a closer game could have been just the spark they needed and had provided enough value that you could overlook his offensive inefficiency (not that he was anhy worse than Jrue Holiday or Evan Turner in that regard).
Holiday, Turner, and Young combined for 34 points on 41 field goal attempts. You're not going to be competitive in many games playing like that.
The end result was the 76ers ended the road trip with a 2-6 record, coming back to the confines of the Wells Fargo Center with a 15-20 record and in 9th spot in the Eastern Conference. With the team approaching the mid-point of the season, we 76ers fans appear to be in the midst of another season of mediocrity.
Luckily, the team will play 13 of the next 15 games in Philadelphia, which should be just enough to keep the team in the playoff hunt.
Who's ready to gear up for another season of 41-41?!