Sixers week two and three review: struggling for consistency

The Sixers went on a hot streak — and then cooled off quickly

Aaron Rigby, Sports Writer

The Sixers had a cold start to their second week, but began to heat back up in their last two games. 

On October 26, the Sixers took a two hour trip to Madison Square Garden, where they got absolutely murdered on national television. The Sixers suffered a 13-point defeat to the New York Knicks, but the game wasn’t as close as the final score says.  The game was relatively close up until the 6:23 mark in the second quarter, when Emanuel Quickley broke Tyrese Maxeys’ ankles then hit a three pointer, putting the Knicks up nine, and the game only went downhill from there.  New York proceeded to go on a 20-6 run to end the fist half up by 20 points.  In the third quarter, the onslaught continued as the Knicks pushed their lead to as high as 27 points. 

For the Sixers, everyone other than Tobias Harris, who was one rebound and assist away from a 23 point triple double, played horrible.  Danny Green had 12 points, shooting 4-8 from long distance, Seth Curry contributed a whopping four points and three turnovers, Georges Niang had 13 points, and finally, their beloved superstar center Joel Embiid, had the game of his life.

Though Embiid didn’t score a single field goal in the first half, he finished with 14 points, 10 of which came from the free throw line, and five turnovers. However, this loss snapped the Sixers 15-game win streak against the Knicks.  The Sixers didn’t have to wait long to get their chance at revenge, as the rematch between the two teams happened at the Wells Fargo Center last Monday, which again resulted in a Sixers loss, 103-96.

The Sixers overall had a terrible night, but they didn’t let that get the best of them as they went back home to defeat the ice cold Detroit Pistons, 110-102, on November 4. It was a pretty close and competitive game until the Sixers began to pull away late in the third quarter and into the fourth. With 6:29 remaining in the game, the Sixers had a comfortable 22 point lead against one of the worst teams in the league.

Anybody with logic would assume that the game was over by that point, but the Pistons had a comeback brewing.  Within the next minute, the Pistons went on an 8-0 run, causing head coach Doc Rivers to send the starters back in to close out the game. Despite the starters coming back in the game, the Pistons remained on fire and got the game to as close as 107-102. With 19.6 seconds remaining in regulation, the Sixers inbounded the ball to Joel Embiid who then shot and made the game sealing three pointer over Kelly Olynyk.  

Despite almost blowing the lead, the Sixers played pretty well.  Embiid led the pack by scoring 30 points and grabbing only 18 rebounds, and Harris added 17 points of his own and Maxey finished with 16 points. 

The best player for the Pistons on that night was Saddiq Bey, who finished with 19 points, and that was pretty much all the fire power the Pistons had, not much is expected of them though, as they are a team going through the rebuilding phase and developing their future star Cade Cunningham. 

The final game of the week for the Sixers was a home game on October 30 against the Atlanta Hawks, the team who eliminated the Sixers from championship contention in an impressive seven-game series.  The Sixers played outstanding defense, holding the Hawks to only 15 points in the first quarter. This game was never really close, as the Sixers led by around 12 -14 points throughout the whole game, until the third quarter when the Sixers began to slowly pull away and lead by 20 points going into the fourth quarter.  In this contest, six players for the Sixers had double digits in points.  Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton had 11 points each, Seth Curry added 15, Maxey had 16, Embiid had 19 and Harris contributed 22 points.  

Atlanta’s star point guard Trae Young struggled, only adding 13 points to the Hawks total score, and shot a tremendous 5-16 from the field and only made 1 three pointer.  Despite struggling, he was still the second best player for the Hawks that night, behind Cam Reddish who only had 16.  

This past week, the Sixers had a mixed schedule, with two games that they could have easily won and two games that they would have had to be on their A-game for. 

The Sixers pulled out a W against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 1. Curry led the win with 23 points, assisted largely by Drummond with 15 assists. The Sixers’ success can likely be attributed to Blazers starting point guard Damian Lillard continuous struggle. 

November 3 the Sixers faced the hot Chicago Bulls who were sitting in the one seed spot in the Eastern Conference. Luckily, Curry and Embiid were able to eek out out a tight win, 114-105. The last couple games — two loses in a row, back to back, against New York and the Bucks, signal some struggles ahead.

Don’t be surprised if the Sixers drop in the Eastern Conference standings this week, but also don’t be surprised if they can pull off an upset and go undefeated this week and be in the top three in the standings.  This week could either go really good or really bad for the Sixers, but only time will tell.