By Dylan MacKinnon (Producer at 97.5 The Fanatic)
Sixers lose on the road, and turned it over too much, against a team they have no business losing to. Anyone else getting déjà vu?
They fall 119-113 to the 7-13 Wizards. They had 21 turnovers, with 15 of those coming from Embiid and Simmons. The loss brings them to 5-7 on the road.
Now it is a regular season loss, and we should not take it too seriously, but it was another game where their two biggest issues reared their ugly head again. They struggle on the road, and turn it over too much.
It was a problem last year, a problem the year before, and now once again the problem this year. I already mentioned the 5-7 road record, but they also have the 3rd most turnovers. These are two problems, they will not be able to overcome in the playoffs.
I went back and looked a few weeks ago for a different article. And the last time a team won it all, with a losing record on the road, was 1978, 41 seasons ago. That is so long ago, Star Wars wasn’t a thing yet, nor was Garfield. Some teams here and there have gotten away being one game over .500, but after Kobe Bryant was born, not a single team under .500 on the road has won. Are 3 examples of how long ago that was enough to drive home how unlikely it is that a team will win it all in that scenario?
Unless they are going to be the number one overall seed, they will have to win some road games in the playoffs. Unless they get home field advantage throughout, and win every single home game. But to get home field, they will need to have the best record, and it will be tough to have the best record when you lose half of your road games.
And as for Turnovers, the history isn’t quite as daunting, but it is also not reassuring. The Warriors in their recent dynasty have often found themselves among the teams with the most turnovers, being in the bottom 10 in all five years of their recent run, and even in the bottom 5 once.
But they had the 3 point shooting to make up for lost possessions. Sixers do not have that. They are a little better from 3 than they get credit for, but they are still at about league average. Oklahoma City was last in the league the year they lost in the Finals to the Heat, but they had 3 future MVPs who could light up the scoreboard to make up for it.
Unless the Sixers will all the sudden become a powerhouse offense, they can’t afford all these turnovers. Nor can they afford to be so mediocre on the road. This team can be great. They have the pieces to be great. They have the defense to be great. But these two issues will derail their season, and they need to figure it out fast.