The Philadelphia 76ers boast some of the best defensive players in the league in the form of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as well as other defenders like Matisse Thybulle and Danny Green. Normally, this would be a recipe for success on the defensive end.
That was not the case on Saturday as the Sixers struggled mightily on that end in a 120-111 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Suns shot 60.8% from the floor and they were 10-for-25 from deep and they also received 56 bench points along with the play of Devin Booker and Chris Paul which made it even tougher for them.
“Listen, give them credit,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I thought they were in good stuff. Chris Paul is terrific, but I just thought their dribble penetration, especially in the first half, they went downhill on everything. Just over and over again collapsing our defense and that created all the ball movement and all the stuff they got.”
The Sixers got off to a good started defensively with the starters, but once the bench unit came in, Phoenix really got going and Philadelphia could not respond.
“The dribble penetration,” Rivers continued on. “It’s funny, the first eight minutes, I thought defensively, were pretty good, and then right when we went to the bench is when our defense struggled. I’m not really focused on the offensive end right now, I’m more focused more on the defensive end.”
At the end of the day, the Suns shot a ridiculously high percentage and that will not fly. Sure, Paul and Booker are great players and they know how to put the ball in the basket, but Phoenix should not have gotten the penetration they did all day long.
“I think overall, we didn’t get back in transition,” said Ben Simmons. “That’s where it started. They shot 61% which is too high. We had our run, we got the lead, and then we let it go, we didn’t execute on offense late game. There were a few calls that did not go our way. We can’t rely on calls.”
The Sixers will now have to bounce back and try and get a win against the Utah Jazz on Monday.
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