Just two days removed from a snoozer against the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia looked flat against the Washington Wizards, losing by a score of 106-94. Although the Sixers clawed their way back from a 20-point deficit, the Wizards were in control the entire game .
Some observations from tonight's game:
- The Wizards absolutely carved up the Sixers on defense. Washington ran a lot of basic pick and roll sets, but for whatever reason the Sixers had no idea what to do. D.C. consistently had a lot of easy looks at the rim, even with Nerlens Noel in the game. More than half of Washington's offense came inside the paint, putting up 58 points compared to just 42 points for Philadelphia. Marcin Gortat was the beneficiary of a lot of those plays, using his size and strength to exploit switches on defense. He finished with 21 points on 10-16 shooting to go with 13 rebounds and three assists. Washington also got some really easy buckets in transition, picking up 19 fast break points while Philadelphia was held to just four points out on the break. Tonight was certainly a defensive performance Brett Brown will not be happy with.
- Jahlil Okafor had a rough night on both ends of the floor. He finished with just 9 points on 4-11 shooting, and found himself in foul trouble for most of the night. I obviously have not been a huge fan of his fit within the team, but the Sixers certainly don't make things easy when he's out there. Their floor spacing is absolutely atrocious, which basically forces Okafor to jack up contested mid-range shots. If they want to make it work with him, they need to find a way to work him into the offense in something other than isolation plays.
Seriously what the hell is this? pic.twitter.com/4ZqZBOnEnY— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) February 6, 2016
- Ish Smith led the team with 22 points on 11-25 shooting, 14 of which came in the third quarter alone. He was pretty effective around the rim tonight, but he shouldn't have to carry the shooting load on offense as much as he has for most of this season. A lot of that has to do with some really bad perimeter shooting. Robert Covington and Hollis Thompson were a combined 0-9 from beyond the arc. Philadelphia really needs the two of them to find some consistency, or they'll continue to find themselves in games like this one.