In what could end up being a future playoff matchup, the third-seeded Indiana Pacers downed the sixth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in a 101-98 nail-biter.
Thanks in part to either Indiana’s smothering defense, or Philadelphia’s sloppy play, the Sixers turned the ball over 21 times. An alarming stat, the 76ers lead the league in turnovers per game averaging over 16 turnovers on any given night. Because the fact of the matter is, the 76ers young and inexperience can be a point of concern. At times a lack of focus causes foolish mistakes which have cost them games.
This loss, in particular, should be a big red flag for Sixers fans. Victor Oladipo (Indiana’s star player) shot 4-21 from the field, ending with just 11 points. Utterly and completely shut down, Philadelphia (despite Ben Simmons triple-double) was still unable to get any sort of lead past the first quarter. And I know that this 76ers team is very young and will be around for a while. But if they want to have any chance at winning a playoff series this year, they must play a more complete game of basketball.
Now let’s take a moment to applaud the Pacers. Despite Victor Oladipo’s struggles (and Domantis Sabonis spraining his ankle early third quarter), the Pacers prevailed behind the excellent play of not only Myles Turner, but role players such as Thaddeus Young and Lance Stephenson. More than doubling the 76ers in bench points, the Pacers sported a box score that saw six different players in double figures. An all-around team effort, it should be settling for the Indiana coaching staff to know that they don’t need a 20+ point game from Victor Oladipo to beat playoff caliber teams.
- The 76ers are nowhere near done with “The Process”
- Ben Simmons is capable of dropping a triple-double without anyone even noticing.
- The Pacers have a strong supporting cast surrounding Victor Oladipo
- Miles Turner is finally starting to show his full abilities on the court
- Quinn Buckner (Indiana’s color commentator) thinks any call against the Pacers is blasphemy.