The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Indiana Pacers 112-85, dropping their record to 0-12. It's their sixth loss this year by more than 15 points. They turned the ball over
29 31 times, just two nights removed from a 27 turnover performance against Dallas. At one point, they walked out onto the floor with six players, resulting in a technical foul and a free point for Indiana. Needless to say, this game was an absolute mess, and in a manner that's been different from previous bad losses.
This is, by far, the most disappointed I’ve been about the Sixers since Sam Hinkie took over as general manager in 2013. Not about the future, because that still has a chance to be bright, but the product out on the court. They’re not a group of lovable losers, fighting and battling on every possession, trying to show they have a place in this league.
Other Sixers teams have been bad, but not like this. The 2015 Sixers are lazy, and worst part about this team is that they are completely and utterly unwatchable. Yes, previous editions of the process trusting Sixers have had bad losses, but those team didn’t nearly have the amount of talent and experience previous process trusting teams have had, even with the injuries. Their losses at least used to show signs of growth.
In year three of this shindig all I see right now is borderline regression from nearly everyone.
The Sixers are failing at the most elementary of things. They can’t execute simple passes. They’re failing to communicate, resulting in the most comical turnovers and fast break points for opponents.
And maybe the most discouraging thing about the Sixers twelfth loss in twelve games is that there’s no clear answer to their issues. As of right now, they are a systematic failure at all levels.
A team that needs solid perimeter shooting to relieve its big men is 24th in the league in three-point field goal percentage. A team that prides itself in being solid defensively is 23rd in defensive rating, and 26th in rebounding.
Nerlens Noel, the team’s heart and soul last year, looks completely lost on offense, and getting outworked on the glass by the likes of Lavoy Allen and Ian Mahinmi.
While this certainly must be tough on Brett Brown, he’s certainly not without blame. The offense has been morbid, but does little to stop the bleeding. He continues to trot out lineups with Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Jerami Grant that are wildly inefficient. There are no real set plays to create space for shooters, just 15-17 seconds of synchronized dribble hand-offs before Jahlil Okafor is asked to rescue most possessions with little time on the shot clock. And despite consistently playing decent first half, they come out of half looking sluggish, which makes me think opponents can adjust to the Sixers, but the Sixers can’t adjust to them.
Some of this may be reactionary in the grand scheme of things. They’ve played just twelve games, and are still adjusting to having a real post scorer in Jahlil Okafor. Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten should bring about better guard play when they return to action. Most importantly, the process is still very much intact, and the manner of these losses don’t change the fact Philadelphia will likely have a surplus of from this upcoming summer’s draft.
However, losses in this manner on a semi-consistent basis are inexcusable, considering the improvement they made last year. There's no blueprint for how the Sixers are supposed to become competitors. But getting your doors blown off at home to a really mediocre Pacers team is an extremely hard pill to swallow at this point.
The process can still be trusted. It just doesn’t excuse their current state of affairs.