No one expected the Sixers to have a chance against the Phoenix Suns. Yet they held their own, leading at times, until the Suns ultimately pulled away. Well act II was Saturday night against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After falling behind early by 16 the Sixers kept plugging away, eventually taking the lead. And you all know what happened next.
After a poor effort and loss to the Memphis Grizzlies the Sixers took the floor with purpose against the Cavs. Which begs the question, can anyone figure this team out?
The easy answer is they play up and down to their competition.
Dig a little deeper and answers become blatantly clear.
The Sixers put themselves in a great position to win the game. They gave it away in the 4th, shooting poorly from the field and only managing 10 points in the quarter. Playing that way won’t beat anyone in the NBA, let alone a team the caliber of the Cavaliers, with a player the caliber of LeBron James.
Elton Brand had another good game and he’s looking like he’s finding his game. Which brings us to a problem with this team, the inconsistency of it’s supporting cast. Thaddeus Young has struggled most of the year, and those struggles continued Saturday night. Andre Iguodala also struggled going only 6-22 from the field for 12 points.
If this team wants to win, they have to know what they’re going to get from their players. It builds trust, and it can raise the games of some of the other players. They’ll know they can count on each other, knowing that each of them can and must pull their own weight. Until then, this team will never be successful.
The glaring weakness on this team is the lack of an official leader. Iguodala has made strides but this team needs more. Elton Brand is showing promising signs of becoming that guy for the Sixers. Though, that gets us back to the consistency topic. He can’t be counted on, yet.
The Sixers have talent, but they need a lot more to become a competitive team in the NBA.
-Mike Santa Barbara
About the Author
Written by Mike Santa Barbara
Sports writer covering mostly Philadelphia sports for over 10 years. Work has been featured on RealGM.com, GCobb.com and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia (CSNPhilly.com.)