Since their win over the Miami Heat last week, their last two performances have been underwhelming and concerning.
Against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, the 76ers gave up 66 points in the paint and allowed 19 offensive rebounds in a 130-115 loss.
Even more disappointing was the team’s energy and effort in the second half. They trailed by only three at halftime but allowed the Blazers to open the third quarter on a 17-6 run. They were outscored by 15 in the quarter with many of the points given up being layups and second chance opportunities.
Ben Simmons appeared to be the only 76er being aggressive throughout the game. He led the Sixers will 29 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. His performance was the only notable one by the home team in the game.
Their two most recent games have made it clear Embiid is the leader of this team.
“They’re not the same team without Joel Embiid, obviously, he’s a big part of what they do,” Portland head coach Terry Stotts said after the game, via the Associated Press.
Winning is fun?
The Sixers followed up the Blazers game, with one of the most frustrating wins of the year.
They led by double digits throughout most of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans. With 2:48 to go in the game, the 76ers had a 110-100 lead. They scored a single point after that point, via a Tobias Harris free throw.
With nine seconds left in the game, the Sixers were holding unto a one-point lead with Jonathon Simmons at the free-throw line. He missed both, giving the Pelicans a chance to win the game.
Thankfully, their final shot missed and the 76ers held on for a 111-110 win. The Pelicans struggled from the field the entire game shooting 42.3 percent and 17.9 percent from three.
Anthony Davis played only 21 minutes, none in the fourth quarter. In that fourth quarter the Sixers scored just 18 points, compared to the Pelicans 27.
They committed 19 turnovers in the game, many as a result of ill-advised passes or miscommunications.
If all that wasn’t bad enough, with about one minute left in the game, Boban Marjanovic left the game with a leg injury when he got his left leg rolled on going after a loose ball.
The Sixers announced Wednesday Marjanovic suffered a bone bruise and a mild sprain on his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in 5-7 days. This is good news considering he could have missed the rest of the season.
On a positive note, Harris scored a 76ers career-high 29 points and collected 10 rebounds. Mike Scott scored 12 points, going 4-of-5 from the 3-point line.
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