In today's newsletter:
- Thoughts on last night's 121-111 loss to the Wizards.
- Key stats.
- Link roundup.
The Sixers played their third game of the season without Joel Embiid, who continues to be out of the lineup due to a non-COVID related illness. Unlike the previous two games – a 22-point win up in Toronto and a seven point victory over these same Wizards on Halloween – the Sixers were not able to overcome their defensive shortcomings this time around, falling to a Wizards group that they allowed to stroll down the lane with little to no resistance all night long, as the Wizards shot 57.7% from the field for the game.
The Sixers, without Embiid and De'Anthony Melton, were missing their defensive anchor, and one of their best perimeter defenders. With those two out of the lineup, many of the Sixers' defensive deficiencies were on full display, as they willingly conceded crossmatches in transition, couldn't stop dribble penetration, switched far too often on pick-and-rolls and allowed Kristaps Porzingis to simply turn around and shoot over defenders a foot and a half shorter than him, looked like they were barely communicating on the defensive end, fell asleep ball-watching when defending away from the ball and had no rim protection when they trapped on the perimeter.