Sixers not concerned about current slump, understand tough situation

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The Philadelphia 76ers are in a rut. The 120-85 loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday was their fifth in a row — all without Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle who remain in the league’s health and safety protocol.

It has been tough sledding without two of the top defensive players in the league. Embiid is an elite rim protector, and Thybulle is a pest on the perimeter with his instincts and his length.

Philadelphia certainly felt the loss of those two on Tuesday as the Jazz did whatever they wanted on offense. They shot 51.7% from the floor and knocked down 16 of their 36 3-point attempts. They also scored 56 points in the paint taking advantage of Embiid’s absence.

Despite the loss, coach Doc Rivers is not panicking.

“It’s just a long season,” said Rivers. “You go through a lot of games and just nobody here is like worried. It’s a long season and you go through these when you have the injuries we have and the games that we played. I want to win every game, but I do understand what we’re under right now.”

As the Sixers continue with this road trip, it does not get any easier. They next face reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. They have to now readjust their focus on the Nuggets.

“It’s not like we forget about it because we are professional athletes,” said Furkan Korkmaz. “We all have egos. We cannot just step out and be like ‘OK, we lost today. Let’s play (the) next game and stop thinking about it’. We are just saying we are trying to forget, but it’s not something like you go to a hotel and then forget about it.”

While the losses are still losses and they are piling up quickly, the absences of Embiid and Thybulle are holding the team back on the defensive end. They are a small team at the moment and they are relying on lesser players to produce.

“There’s nothing immediate,” Rivers added. “We just got to keep playing, keep doing what we’re doing, get better, can’t turn the ball over which we did today. Defensively, we got to be better. We’re very small right now as well, and so we get it. We see it.”

Nobody is going to feel sorry for them because they have been down so many guys. They have to talk about and work on their current struggles.

“We can’t go into games making excuses even though we’re down people,” said Isaiah Joe. “We got to go in with the same mentality as we would if we had a full roster. We just gotta come together as a team. I think our team defense has to be better. I think we’re gonna get right.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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