By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to get their first victory of the 2022-2023 NBA season as they faced the San Antonio Spurs. Joel Embiid had a stellar performance on both ends of the floor. However, his effort was wasted as the Spurs outhustled Philly, and rode their momentum to a 114-105 victory.
Philly jumped on San Antonio from the opening tip-off as they were able to hit their shots early. They made it a point to feed Joel Embiid early and often in this game. He had his best scoring night of the season. Embiid scored 40-points and grabbed 13-rebounds, he looked more energetic tonight and kept the Sixers afloat throughout most of the contest. The problem for them came when Embiid sat down. Philly spent a lot of money in the offseason to try to get more scoring out of the second unit. Unfortunately, that money has not paid off yet as throughout three games the bench has not done much. Besides scoring seven points against Milwaukee. The bench has not put up a good enough effort to help propel the Sixers to a win. That needs to change if Philly wants to go far in the playoffs. Coach Rivers may need to play Shake Milton or another more offensive minded player off the bench to get some scoring output from them.
San Antonio did not play like a team that played on Friday night. They were able to outhustle the Sixers and take full advantage of being the younger the team. The Spurs hit their shots and executed better than the Sixers down the stretch. It did not matter if there was a hand in their face or not. They were led by Devin Vassell (22-points) and Keldon Johnson (21-points) who combined for 43 of the Spurs’ 114-points. Both of them made the Sixers pay for daring to leave them open from beyond the arc or allowing them to attack the basket. Philly is still trying to work out the kinks and get the team chemistry down, and Teams are taking full advantage.
The Sixers will need to find a way to get their offense and defense going. They will need to make sure that they are able to communicate. Which has been a problem for them in their first three games. They will also need to make sure the ball moves on offense and does not get stuck in one player’s hand. When they moved the ball around, they got wide open three-pointers tonight. They will face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night and they will need to stay attached to Indiana’s shooters if they want to get their first win of the season.