Sixers Try To Right The Ship in Noon Game vs the Hornets
By Dylan MacKinnon
The Sixers desperately need a get-right game. They have needed one for a while. Thursday Night’s game vs the Pistons was supposed to be that. But instead, it turned into one of their worst games of the year. They collapsed in the 4th quarter, scored only 15 pts, and ended up losing to the Pistons. The Pistons. Who were competing for the worst record in the NBA coming into that night. But in Sports, your memory has to be short. Thursday Night was ugly. But now less than 48 hours later they have to get over it and try to bounce back vs the Hornets. It is an early tip today, with the game beginning at 12:30 pm.
One of the big narratives of the game from fans and the media was the Sixers bench scoring only 8 pts in 61 minutes. But Doc Rivers saw it a different way. After the game, he appeared to defend the bench, while perhaps casting some of the blame for those low numbers onto James Harden.
“Well, [the bench] didn’t struggle,” Rivers said. “They didn’t get a lot of shots in their defense. I think during that stretch, it was more James than them. So you know, yeah, it’s just a tough night.”
There did seem to be very little movement and a lot of dribbling. But it seems unfair to blame that all on Harden. Yes, he was dribbling out the clock, but the rest of the team also was not moving to give him a chance to pass it. Even when Joel Embiid was being triple-teamed there was no movement to give him an option to pass out. That is just as much on those bench players, the other starters, and on Doc himself, as it is on Harden.
The Sixers are currently 46-30. They are the 4 seed, and now a full game behind the Celtics for the 3 seed, and 2.5 games behind the Heat for the 1 seed. And now after a 3 game losing streak, they have just a 1.5 game lead over the Bulls and Raptors who are tied for the 5 seed. They swept the season series vs the Bulls, so with them, it is a two-game lead. But the Raptors currently lead the series 2-1. And the two teams will face each other Thursday. Meaning it is not impossible that this time next week the Raptors will have past them in the standings. Making this a game the Sixers can barley afford to lose.
The Hornets meanwhile need this win just as badly. They are currently 40-37 and battling for the 8 seed. They have the exact same record as the Nets and the Hawks. Of those 3, whoever wins the 8 seed will only need to win one game, whereas the 9 and 10 seeds will have to win two in a row to make it to the actual playoffs.
The game tips at 12:30, but our coverage begins at 12:20 with Devon Givens and the Pregame Show. Then it is Tom McGinnis on the call, as the Sixers attempt to right the ship vs the Hornets.