Philadelphia 76ers: 3 Observations From Loss vs. Nets
The Philadelphia 76ers took the court at home for the first time this season Friday night in a nationally televised matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. This battle of Eastern Conference juggernauts did not disappoint as things went down to the wire. In the end, the Nets walked away with a 114-109 win on the back of a Kevin Durant triple-double.
Here are three observations from the Friday night thriller.
76ers Observations After Loss To Nets
1) Aggressive Seth Curry
Seth Curry had a bit of a quiet night in the season opener against the Pelicans, but that was not the case against Brooklyn. The sharpshooting guard came out aggressive from the start and never really let up. He went on to finish the night with a team-high 23 points and needed just 12 shots to do it.
When Curry comes out hunting shots, the Sixers are a much different team offensively. The attention he draws from the defense makes it harder for opposing teams to collapse on Joel Embiid and opens lanes for Tobias Harris to attack the rim.
Doc Rivers constantly mentions his desire for Curry to hunt shots more on offense, and performances like this are why. Not only can rack up points in a hurry when his shot gets going, but his success trickles down through the rest of the lineup and can help put others in better positions to score.
Continuing this level of aggressiveness is something Curry will have to build on as the season progresses.
2) Tobias Harris in All-Star form
Along with Curry, Tobias Harris was a huge bright spot for the Sixers through the majority of the game. He started the game off hot and never looked back. When all was said and done, Harris racked up 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Making quick decisions with the ball is something Rivers preached for Harris throughout last season, and was a focal point of his performance against the Nets. He wasted little time getting to his spots and attacking weak points in the defense.
The Sixers needed players to step up against a star-studded Brooklyn team, and Harris took things upon himself. He managed to go toe-to-toe with Kevin Durant for a majority of the night, something that is no small task. Harris continues to show he can be a reliable second option behind Joel Embiid in the Sixers’ offense.
3) Stagnant 76ers offense down the stretch
While the Sixers were in the driver’s seat for most of the game, things took a sharp turn in the final minutes. After Tobias Harris connected with Matisse Thybulle on a lob to put the Sixers up double-digits, the offense completely flatlined.
In the final five and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, the Sixers scored just one point. This Brooklyn to swing the momentum of the game and steal a victory in the final possessions.
Lack of ball movement and poor shot selection hurt the Sixers as they attempted to close the game. Rivers and Embiid both cited the ball sticking as a catalyst to the game slipping away from them down the stretch.
It’s the beginning of the season, and obviously there will be growing pains, but stagnant offense continues to hurt the Sixers at times when trying to close games. As it is only game two of the season, a loss like this should not have anyone rushing to the panic button.