Watching your team play the Warriors is a bit like experiencing basketball nihilism. You watch the team and how they react to situations, but there’s the underlying knowledge that nothing matters, because your team will lose. The Warriors are actually too good and it impacts the full viewing experience.
The Sixers stayed in the game as long as they hit shots and limited their mistakes, but the Warriors run is only a matter of time and how much, not whether it will come. The Dubs let the Sixers hang around, as they’re wont to do, then made a 9-0 run after a tie at 74. The Sixers scored once, then the Warriors scored 9 more unopposed and ran away with the game.
Watching becomes a lot easier when you approach it as if losing is an inevitability. You don’t get as emotionally invested, so you can see what’s going well and what’s not. You can be less frustrated with how easily Kevin Durant is scoring against Robert Covington and understand that Covington is making the correct decisions individually under normal circumstances. You can see that Ben Simmons is adjusting live to how teams are walling off the paint against him. Things like that are easier to appreciate when the game is not in question. But you also see the mistakes, and the Warriors force teams into a lot of mistakes, and it in effect amplifies those mistakes.
Tonight felt like watching the true Process era Sixers, but without any excitement for getting a better draft pick. In other words: eminently skippable, and not particularly enjoyable.
- Again, while nothing matters related to the outcome, some things are worth pointing out. The Sixers only stood a chance on defense when Embiid played, but he offset that with a dismal offensive performance. Embiid scored 12 points on 11 shots, 2 trips to the line, and 7 turnovers. Embiid still hasn’t reached the level he attained before his knee injury last year, where his efficiency both with basketball possession and scoring peaked.
- Embiid missed his only three attempt tonight, and his three point percentage is down to 23% after tonight. Whether last season’s production from three or this season’s is the outlier is to-be-determined.
- Golden State walled the paint against Ben Simmons more successfully than any team previously. Simmons took 18 shots to score 13 points, and the shots he did make were mostly long-range floaters with a high degree of difficulty.
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Justin Anderson combined for the Sixers’ best bench wing output of the season, making all five of their combined three point attempts and scoring 23.
- Stephen Curry created what looked like a waffle in his hair tonight. I’m not sure that will become a look outside Suzanne Collins’s vision for the Capital.
- The Sixers get the Warriors a week from tonight at home as the team’s brutal month of November continues. Losing against Sacramento really derailed what could have been an easily salvaged month, as the only games against teams under .500 left this month are against the soon-to-be 6-7 Jazz, the Lakers and, uh, the Cavaliers.