The Philadelphia 76ers saw their three-game winning streak end in dramatic fashion, with the Cleveland Cavaliers wiping the floor with the Sixers in a 113-85 final. In tonight’s Talking About Podcast episode, Sean Kennedy and Dave Early discuss how the reinforced Cavaliers roster led by backcourt mates Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell might present a bad matchup for our Sixers. Here’s Dave on the worries about slowing down those Cleveland guards:
“I think you take away that this is a tough matchup for them, and will continue to be a tough matchup when the big guns come back. The offense will be so much better when Harden and Maxey are back out there, but the defense isn’t gonna get better, I wouldn’t expect, when those two guys are playing the whole game again. I think we’ve seen them kind of lean into this defensive personality and that’s worked for them. Their defensive rating has really shot up over the course of the games James has missed...The team, Joel has talked about it earlier in the season, struggles to stop the ball, right? And this team [Cleveland] has guys who, we talked about it in the preseason when they made the Donovan Michell trade, how the Sixers match up with this team is gonna be rough, because they have so many what Brett Brown used to say waterbug guards who will just blow right by your first defender.”
Our hosts go into the potential problems if this ends up being a first-round playoff series down the road.
But getting back to tonight’s game, was Joel Embiid and the starters playing through the end of the third quarter an egregious coaching decision in a blowout or reasonable competitive fire? As for bright spots, Paul Reed and his 4-of-4 night from the field would have to qualify. The pod covers how he has seized the backup center spot for the foreseeable future.
Big picture, Wednesday night aside, has the supporting cast’s improved play recently boosted their track stock?
With P.J. Tucker’s shooting slump having made it so Cleveland was completely ignoring him (although he shot 2-of-4 from three!), how concerned should Sixers fans be and can he even play alongside Matisse Thybulle given his own struggles in that area?
For those questions and more, tune in to this week’s episode of the Talking About Podcast in full below:
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