3 observations: Sixers unable to corral Devin Booker in loss to Suns

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ky Carlin
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to bounce back from a tough loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and they had to go into The Valley to take on a tough Phoenix Suns team. They ran into the buzzsaw that is Devin Booker and they could not corral him in a 120-111 loss.

Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 35 points and eight rebounds, Tobias Harris had 18 points and five assists, Ben Simmons added 18 points and six rebounds, and Seth Curry and Danny Green added 10 each. The Sixers did not get much help from the bench while Phoenix got a lot of help from their reserves as they scored 47 points while Booker went off the way he did for 36 points.

With that said, here are the three observations from the loss:

Second unit struggles

After struggling in the loss on Thursday, the Sixers were hoping to have a better effort from the bench in this one. That was not the case as rookie Tyrese Maxey continues to go through his growing pains on both ends of the floor. To his credit, he is really the only one in the second unit who can create offense and he is a rookie. That is a lot to ask of a 20-year old. The team was not able to get a lot of contributions out of Furkan Korkmaz either. Korkmaz struggled with his shot and he had a tough time against E’Twaun Moore on the other end. Of course, Matisse Thybulle played his usual stout defense and Dwight Howard was intimidating around the basket, but they need more offense out of both of them. Mike Scott did make his return to the floor, but he predictably looked a little rusty out on the floor. The bench was outscored 29-10 by Phoenix’s bench in the first half and it was not much better in the second half and the bench scoring was the ultimate difference in this one.

Embiid, Simmons partnership

Obviously, the two stars will be the deciding factor in a lot of games for Philadelphia, but in this one, they were so important on both ends of the floor. Defensively, their work against Booker was impressive to start the game as he could not find any driving lanes or any clean looks with Simmons leading him right into the arms of Embiid to protect the rim. Obviously, Booker found a groove and the Sixers could not cool him off in time, but the defensive effort between the two of them was something nice to see. On the offensive end, the two of them worked well in the pick-and-roll and they seem to have really found serious offensive chemistry lately. There was one possession where Embiid was double-teamed and it was like an instinctual pass to Simmons in the dunker spot for a layup. He did not even think twice about making the pass as he trusted that he would be there. That is something that can be used to build for the future.

Big 3 leading the way

Embiid, Simmons, and Harris are continuing to make strides forward as a leadership trio. The three of them combined for 39 of Philadelphia’s 53 points at halftime and the two stars are playing some of the best basketball of their careers right now. Harris also continues to take on the added responsibility of having to be that third scorer on the team. Philadelphia needed the other guys to step up in this one and they were not able to do so.

1

1