By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers had everything working to their advantage, as they headed into a pivotal game tonight against the Pacers. They were missing Center Damontas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon. They needed someone to step up against the Sixers. Enter Forward TJ Warren. Warren dropped 53 points and led the Pacers to a 127-121 victory over the Sixers.
The Sixers early in the game got out to an eight-point lead over the Pacers in the first quarter. They really took advantage of the Pacers in the paint. They had no answer for Joel Embiid who scored 41 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. Embiid was a force on both sides of the ball.
Despite Embiid’s efforts the team turned the ball over 21 times and had some defensive lapses which the Pacers took advantage of. They were able to really take advantage of the open paint when Embiid was subbed out. This allowed Warren to really have a big night. No matter who the Sixers put on him no one could stop him. He hit 9/12 three-pointers and was able to get whatever he wanted on the court.
Warren singlehandedly put the nail in the Sixers comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter when he hit a dagger three-pointer which put the game out of reach.
The other thing that came back to bite the Sixers was their backcourt only scored four-points, and they got nothing from their bench. Only Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Al Horford scored 10 or more points. For the Sixers other than turnovers the lack of scoring from those four players really did them in.
With seven more games left, Brett Brown must be better with his in-game adjustments. Warren torched them and Brett had no answer for him. He failed to use his defensive ace Matisse Thybulle. He did not really see the floor in this game. Thybulle probably could have helped against Warren. Brown must be better using his bench effectively. They wasted a dominant performance by Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. There is no excuse for that.
The Sixers have a chance to rebound against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday at 8 pm. They will need to show-up on both sides of the ball to show that they are the dominant team that they claim they are.