Thursday, November 22, 2007

Another big deficit...and this time a loss

In case you missed it, one game after coming back from a huge deficit, the Sixers found themselves in a big hole again the other night against the Washington Wizards. Only this time they weren't able to rally, losing 116-111.

The Inquirer's write-up gives a good sense of how quickly things got out of hand:

This was a competitive game for most of the first half. When Miller hit a layup with 4 minutes, 1 second left, the Sixers trailed by just 46-42.

The game then got away in the ensuing four minutes when Washington finished the half on a 14-2 run to take a 60-44 lead.

Things only got worse in the third quarter, when the Wizards scored one uncontested basket after another.

I was hopeful that the big come-back against Portland the other night would be a shot in the arm for the Sixers, but apparently not so much. Ugh.

Making this game a little different from the Sixers other big losses is that the main culprit was their defense instead of their offense. Throwing the numbers from the boxscore into our spreadsheet, we can see that the Sixers' offense actually had its best performance of the year--putting up an offensive efficiency rating of 109.7. The flip side is that the defense also had its worst performance of the year-- clocking in with an efficiency rating of 126.3.

How bad was this performance on the defensive end? The worst defensive efficiency rating posted by the Sixers in their previous nine games was a 113.5--given up in the first game of the year against the Raptors. In one game the Sixers managed to have their 2nd worst forced turnover rate of the season (13.1%), the worst defensive true shooting percentage (64.5%), and their 2nd worst defensive rebound rate (67.7%). I know the Wizards are generally considered a good offensive team, but they aren't this good! (Especially not with Arenas missing the game with an injury which was later revealed to require surgery and will keep him out for 3 months)

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