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Sixers Drop a Bad One to the Luka-less Mavs

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Without Joel and Jimmy, the Sixers go down hard

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

Injury Updates

First Quarter (PHL: 32 | DAL: 27)

Sixers Starters: Ben, JJ, Ennis, Tobias, Bolden

Mavs Starters: Brunson, Lee, Dirk(!), Jackson, Powell

WIth no Luka, Embiid, or Butler, the rosters were certainly lacking in their usual star power. Notable early plays included a vintage Dirk jumper and a JJ 4-point play. Ben came out aggressive as well, although he missed a couple decent looks at the rim. At 5:00 left in the quarter, leading 20-18, Brett made nearly a full line change, subbing in Boban, Scott, TJ, and Shake for Bolden, Ennis, Ben, and JJ. At the end of the quarter, the Sixers were up five, led by hot shooting from JJ (3-of-3 from 3), and Tobias and Ben getting to the rack (7-of-12 combined).

Second Quarter (PHL: 50 | DAL: 68)

A few minutes into the second quarter, JJ hit a long two off a DHO from Ben, the second time that play had resulted in a made jumper from JJ. Unfortunately, Jonah Bolden did not carry over his shooting from the Minnesota game, missing his second 3 of the game fairly badly. Simmons took his first trip to the line around the 8:30 mark, which considering his six -plus shots/drives to that point, was fairly surprising. Redick rimmed a heat check for the ages for his first 3-point miss of the game. Unfortunately, despite pretty reasonable offense, the Sixers defense continued to be decidedly not great, with the game tied at 42 with 7:15 to play.

From that point on though, there was some truly garbage basketball, with at least 5-6 hard bricks from 3 from both teams, and a rather lengthy stretch without a Sixers field goal. In your recapper’s opinion, Shake (and Scott) got fairly abused on the defensive end during this time as well. With 1:20 left, down 48-60, Ben got to the line, but the field goal drought now stretched to seven minutes. A pair of JJ free throws, followed by some overly aggressive defense by Bolden leading to an easy corner 3, then a bad Jonah turnover resulting in a Dirk triple, all led to the Sixers finishing the quarter getting outscored 41 to 18. Without JJ’s 21 points on ten shots, it would have been even worse.

Halftime Shot Charts

Third Quarter (PHL: 77 | DAL: 97)

Starting right where they left off, the Sixers gave up an easy two at the rim. The deluge of Dallas points kept on rolling through until the six-minute mark of the 3rd, with the Sixers down 68-81 and Zhaire Smith taking the court. In general though, it’s pretty evident that Joel and Jimmy G Buckets were missed. Tobias Harris was the lone offensive bright spot this quarter, continuing to climb out of his mini-slump. In news that will be devastating to Liberty Ballers’ Kevin Rice, Jonah Bolden finished the quarter with a minus-23 in 20 minutes on 1-of-6 shooting.

Fourth Quarter (PHL: 102 | DAL: 122)

It was fairly emblematic of the night when the Sixers’ best defensive series came on a pair of chase-down blocks by Ben and Jonah, although eventually leading to a foul on Ben. Shooting continued to be hilariously bad with a 4:00 field goal drought from about ten minutes to six minutes. Down 20 with six to play, Zhaire, Shake, TJ, Haywood, and Jonah were all on the court together for the first time and promptly gave up a fastbreak slam.

Second Half Shot Charts

Full Box Score Here

Fun Facts

  1. I am 0-3 in games I recap.
  2. The Mavericks have two former Naismith Award Winners, both at point guard in Jalen Brunson (2018) and Trey Burke (2013); the Sixers have JJ Redick (2006).
  3. Charles Barkley has the two best Philly performances (by Game Score) against the Mavericks since 1983.