The Philadelphia 76ers have had a rough go at it to begin the 2022-23 season as they are failing to find any cohesion to begin the season. After a discouraging 119-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday to begin a 4-game road trip, the defensive issues that have plagued them popped up again.
The Raptors were red hot from deep, they were out-hustling the Sixers on the 50/50 balls, and they were having a ton of success in transition defense. All of that is a recipe for losses and it’s why Philadelphia is off to such a tough start.
After the loss on Wednesday, Joel Embiid wants to see more out of the Sixers as he wants to see more effort on the defensive end. The big fella told Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer:
“It’s all about effort,” Embiid said after Wednesday’s game. “You got to be honest about it. It doesn’t matter what the coaching staff says. It doesn’t matter what the game plan is. If we don’t go out there and execute, we are not going to go anywhere.
“So it’s all about effort, having the mentality of playing hard and having each other’s back and just flying around.”
It is a bit head-scratching to see Philadelphia off to such a slow start on the defensive end. They have talented players such as PJ Tucker, Tobias Harris, and Embiid in the starting lineup and then defensive-minded players such as De’Anthony Melton and Danuel House Jr. off the bench.
However, it is peculiar that Matisse Thybulle has not gotten much playing time either. The 2-time All-Defensive Team player has played a grand total of five minutes to begin the season and despite his up-and-down play on the offensive end, it might be time to give him his spot back in the rotation when considering the defensive struggles.
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