Sixers not upset, but not happy with defensive effort in win over Clippers

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Ky Carlin
·3 min read
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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the better defensive teams in the league as they entered Friday night ranked second in the league in defensive rating at 107.2. They even had a solid defensive night on Friday as they were able to win it 106-103 over an explosive Los Angeles Clippers team at home.

However, there were some big things that stood out. Los Angeles shot 19-for-39 from deep and they were 6-for-9 from deep in the third quarter. The Clippers used a big effort in that stanza in order to take the lead and reserve Patrick Patterson had 10 points in the fourth quarter on 3-for-3 shooting from deep.

“Schematically, we had some mistakes,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They were running the pick-and-roll up to the top. We’re supposed to show, we kept getting tangled up, and their guy kept slipping loose or rolling, and it really hurt us.”

The Sixers were scrambling on that end of the floor as they had to go deeper into their bench in order to stop the Clippers, but it was not just the bench unit. The starters were not disciplined with their defensive assignments and there were times where Joel Embiid was caught not hustling back to the 3-point line for a contest. The Sixers also did force a lot of turnovers which was a big help.

“We gave up 19 threes and they had 39 attempts which I didn’t like,” Rivers added. “I thought we didn’t show great discipline leaving guys leaving the corner, but overall, I liked the intensity. I liked our pressure. We forced guys into turnovers and that’s the stuff we have to do. They had 19 turnovers tonight. I thought that was the difference in the game”

On the flip side, this is what the Clippers do when it comes to their offense. They have a lot of shooters on the roster who can knock down a lot of open looks created by Paul George and others.

“I wouldn’t say we struggled much, that’s what they do,” said Embiid, “They love to take a lot of threes and make a lot of threes. There were a few times where we made a lot of mistakes, especially me, leaving a corner. They had a bunch of wide-open shots and we should never leave the corner.”

Embiid is not wrong about that. The Clippers entered the game with the best offensive rating in the NBA at 118.5 and they also entered with the best team 3-point shooting percentage at 41.8% as a team, both per basketball-reference.

“I got to do a better job, but that’s what they do,” Embiid added. “They love to shoot a lot of threes and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. You can just do your best to defend.”

At the end of the day, the Sixers got the win and that’s all that matters. The big thing is, they just have to clean up some mistakes on that end that they normally don’t make. The Clippers just did a great job of moving the ball and speeding Philadelphia up. On top of that, they were missing an underrated defender in Tobias Harris.

“The good news is we won the game, we can work on it, but we made mistakes that we don’t make in pick-and-roll coverage and we did over and over,” Rivers finished. “We did in the first half and they didn’t take advantage of it. Give Ty (Lue) credit, he saw it, and then they started doing it.”

The Sixers will now have two days off before hosting the Golden State Warriors on Monday.

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

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