Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Today, I could write a nice “I told you so” piece on Dorell
Wright being inserted into the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting lineup, but I’m not
Instead I’m too cynical right now of a team that’s just
14-15 overall and has shot just 44 percent from the field while scoring just
93.6 points per game this season. To add onto all of that muck, the Sixers are
only 5-8 on the road this season even following last night’s improbable road
victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, and still have six more games left on this
daunting road trip.
Until they can do it again, in another premium opponent’s
house, I’m going to be very dubious in the following areas the Sixers looked as
if they excelled in last night, and I’ll explain why.
Despite a team season-high 12 blocks, the Sixers still forfeited 42 points in
the paint, largely coming at the hands of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
Interior defense has been one of this team’s biggest weaknesses this season
without Andrew Bynum.
Spencer Hawes’ “Brilliant”
Game: As a Sixers fan, if you hear that Hawes scored 20 points on 9-14
shooting from the field, you’re most likely elated. But, looking at Hawes’ shot
chart, he really didn’t play like a true big man this team desperately needs
while Bynum’s knees remain sidelined. Of his 14 shots, only 4 came from inside
the paint, two of which he made. The rest of his offensive game? Hawes shot 8 jump shots from 14+ feet. Even though
he did shoot 7-10 from mid-range, a team struggling with good shot selection really
shouldn’t be having a 7’1, 250 pound mondo nowhere near the rim. As a whole,
the team’s shot selection wasn’t better last night; they just made shots at a
Free throws: Wright
starting in place of Jason Richardson really did increase the team’s total free
throw attempts in Memphis, but that doesn’t mean he’s the answer to the team’s
overall free throw woes. Wright had 8 free throw attempts, 6 above his season
average last night. If you don’t include those 6 attempts, the Sixers, as a
team, attempted just 17 free throws, which is actually below their already
putrid average of 18.1. Considering head coach Doug Collins never plays a
consistent rotation, you can’t rely on Wright to play 28 minutes a game,
especially when Richardson returns, and get to line as frequently as he did
last night in the future.
Fast Break Points/Turnovers:
The Sixers turned the ball over 17 times against the Grizzlies. They forced
just 13 Memphis turnovers and proceeded to score just 18 points off of them.
Even forcing those turnovers, grabbing 9 steals and adding 12 blocks, the
Sixers still only mustered up 16 fast break points. Evan Turner and Jrue
Holiday combining for 11 turnovers is a horrible sign as well.
While some fans are celebrating an “impressive” road win, take a look at
these troubling areas and also consider that Memphis played without their
all-star-caliber swingman, Rudy Gay. Was this win really a positive sign of
things to come?
Jake Fischer is a Sixers
contributor for Buzz On Broad. He also serves as the CAA Columnist for RantSports.com and writes for numerous sections of the Huffington Post. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.