This season's Sixers defense has been disastrous, regressing completely from the switch-heavy units they deployed early in the 2014-15 season behind the length of Michael Carter-Williams, K.J. McDaniels, Luc Mbah a Moute and Nerlens Noel and the rim-stuffing performance from Noel in the second half of that campaign. Those teams at least had an id: they were going to run and play hard on defense. The Sixers now are just an amorphous, un-watchable mess with struggles in every facet of the game.
The Nets entered the night with the 27th-best offense in the NBA (102.6 offensive rating) and just complete ran circles around the Sixers' defenders. Bojan Bogdanovic, who, despite my allegiances to players from the Croatian national team, hasn't exactly set the world on fire thus far through his almost-two NBA seasons. He dropped 44 points tonight. 44! 44! They surrendered 68 points combined over the second and third quarters.
Even as a staunch advocate of Nerlens Noel's game, his offensive numbers look quite good on the box score, but were a bit underwhelming giving the actual context of play: either from broken plays or during faux-garbage time early in the second half. His hands have yet to improve to a respectable point at this point in his (still very young) career, as his turnovers and missed dunks continue to pile up.
The team's true talent level is poor, yes, but it doesn't excuse the lack of effort.
A lot was made on Twitter tonight about Sixers' chanting that they "have draft picks" to Brooklyn fans during the game. While the franchise is undoubtedly in a better position going forward than the Nets and a number of teams around the league, those draft picks truly are all that the team has at the mount.