Philadelphia 76ers biggest problem at halfway point

After the Philadelphia 76ers basically dismantled their entire roster from a couple seasons ago, it comes as no surprise that they currently are the third worst team in the NBA.  However, many 76er fans probably did not see this coming after the first two weeks of the season in which Philly came out strong.

Despite some early home wins against a couple of the teams in the league, it has been all downhill from that point on.  Now a little past the halfway mark of the 76ers’ season, there are many different areas of concern that have plagued the team.

A 76er fan more than likely will say that the team’s inability to defend their opponents is the key reason as to why they have struggled so mightily this year.  There is no argument there as defense has been a tremendous problem that the 76ers are still looking to solve.

They have given up a league-leading 109.9 points per game and are second to last in field goals made.  If those stats are not horrifying enough, it only gets worse from there.

They are first in the NBA in opponents’ three point field goals as they allow nearly 10 three pointers a game.  The list goes on and on about all of the troubles that the 76ers possess on the defensive end of the floor.

Brett Brown and his coaching staff knew that defense was going to be an issue heading into the season.  Nonetheless, he most likely would have hoped to see the defensive statistics change from what they were in the beginning of the season, but they have not.

There is no question about it: the 76ers will use the second half of the season to continuously work on their defense.  This is a problem that has proved it cannot be fixed easily, but the 76ers have many flaws in their game that can be cured.

One of the biggest problems for the team is their inability to take care of the basketball.  Turnovers are another category that they find themselves leading, nearly 50 games in.

For the turnover statistical breakdown, the 76ers average over 17 turnovers per game.  After Monday night’s loss to Brooklyn, the total increased to 841 turnovers on the season which is also last in the league.

This number is quite abysmal and needs to be taken care of quickly.  It can be blamed on many things such as the 76ers youth and inexperience, but overall it comes down to carelessness. 

Brown said it best about the Sixers and why they turn the ball over so frequently.  They try to get back in the game through their offense and when they do that, they make rushed decisions and the result is typically a negative one.

As of late, coach Brown has preached these issues to the team.  But like most others, the 76ers have not yet resolved the problem.

What they need to do is slow the game down and look to make simpler plays.  The team has shown that they have a better ability to score than years past, so they should attempt to run more half-court set plays and should hopefully have better success.

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Many times this year the 76ers will get a defensive stop and then look to push the tempo.  Several times it has worked, but more often than less, they turn the ball over. Transition basketball is what they have thrived on for the past few years.  They have the guys that can make it work, but need to know when it is not there and pull back and run a set play. This decision needs to be made at the point guard position.  It is up to Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten to set the tone.

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Michael Carter-Williams has impressed as a rookie, but as of late he has been very turnover prone.  He is second in the league at the point guard position with turnovers, averaging 3.4 per game.

The same goes for Tony Wroten.  He is averaging 2.8 turnovers a game but is playing 10 less minutes than Carter-Williams. 

If the 76ers hope to turn this issue around, it is these two players who need to play better.  They are both still very young and this is all a part of the learning curve.

Both, who are in their first year with the 76ers, have been called upon to run the offense.  Brett Brown has shown confidence in the two and will continue to do so.

Look for each of these point guards to try to improve on this aspect of the game.  The mistakes will not be fixed overnight, but improvement each game will ultimately lead to more success.  

Many 76ers are fighting for their careers in the NBA.  The second half of the season will be a good way for them to show the game what they are made of and whether or not they have a future in the league.

Read more about Sixers news and opinions on our Philadelphia 76ers page

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