3 observations after the Nuggets obtained a scorching begin to win the Sixers
To have a successful six-game street journey, the Sixers might want to beat the Cavaliers on Thursday for the primary time this season.
The Nuggets scored 44 factors within the first interval on Tuesday evening on the Ball Enviornment, then picked up a 104-95 win that dropped the Sixers to 32-15, 13-11 on the street.
“We simply did not carry out effectively,” mentioned head coach Doc Rivers. “Not quite a lot of excuses; we simply did not do it. There are such a lot of areas the place we had been dangerous. For me making an attempt to emphasize that one can be unfair to the We simply had a horrible sport. We did not have many, however tonight was one among them.
Michael Porter Jr. (27 factors, 12 rebounds), Jamal Murray (30 factors) and Nikola Jokic (21 factors, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) had been the celebs of the Nuggets.
For the Sixers, Tobias Harris had 12 factors on a 6 for 13 shot. Ben Simmons recorded 11 factors on a 4 for 7 shot, two rebounds, three assists and three turnovers.
Listed below are three observations on the Sixers’ loss to Denver:
Howard begins and the Sixers begin badly
Dwight Howard began for the primary time since January and registered six of the Sixers’ first eight factors. He slammed two lobs out of pick-and-rolls and caught a foul when he soared for an tried dunk on Aaron Gordon.
Aside from Howard’s rating, nevertheless, virtually nothing went effectively for the Sixers early on. Denver took a 28-12 lead over a Murray left layup. The Nuggets had been sharp offensively, with Porter significantly profitable towards Danny Inexperienced, and the Sixers helped them with 4 turnovers that become six factors for Denver.
“Give them credit score, they made some robust pictures,” Harris mentioned. “Plus, they appeared simple. I assumed we turned the ball a bit an excessive amount of, particularly within the first quarter, to get them out in transition. They’d too many factors in transition within the first half. However defensively. , they only have not smelled us all evening. We will name it no matter we wish to name it – being drained it doesn’t matter what it’s. Finally, it is not who we’re and we have now to alter that, we paid for it tonight for positive.
Though Matisse Thybulle had two three factors within the first quarter, the Sixers substitutes didn’t flip the tide. The Porter-Murray duo beat your complete Sixers group within the first, 30-22. Murray pull-ups, catch-and-shoot Carrying three on shorter defenders, one-handed Jokic passes to the open males when the Sixers despatched in doubles – every thing was working for Denver.
The rebound was one other situation because the Nuggets grabbed 13 of the sport’s first 17 targets. A part of that situation was that Denver simply did not present quite a lot of defensive rebounding alternatives, however the Sixers typically cannot afford the bounces. Poor bounce nights when Joel Embiid is away.
The Sixers are actually 6-3 since Embiid’s left knee harm. When will he be again? Rivers mentioned forward of the sport that his touch upon Monday concerning the Sixers’ possible return to their standard two-game rotation did not essentially imply Embiid would return on Saturday. Nonetheless, he was constructive about his All-Star heart.
“I do not know,” he mentioned. “Each time Joel comes again, we will return to our regular rotation. However I do not know. He is close to, I can inform you. He works every single day. I get experiences every single day. It appears good. He’s wonderful.
Howard was not despatched off for a 3rd straight sport, though he was known as up for a Flagrant 1 foul with 11.3 seconds left within the second quarter. His contact to cease a Will Barton layup did not appear apparent, however something Howard does that may very well be thought of greater than a primary private foul might be rigorously scrutinized by officers.
Rivers turns into rookies
After showing solely within the trash towards the Lakers, Paul Reed entered the sport on the finish of the primary interval.
He is had some good streaks, together with a play through which he connected with Murray on high of the important thing and challenged his three-point try. Nevertheless, he picked up his second foul when he flew to Paul Millsap and could not management his momentum because the veteran ahead put in a 3. The Sixers are thrilled with Reed’s vitality, which the Sixers sorely lacked all through the sport, nevertheless it’s inevitable that he’ll make rookie errors as he adjusts to life within the NBA.
Rookie Tyrese Maxey changed Reed. Maxey could not replicate his 39-point efficiency within the Sixers’ Jan.9 loss to the Nuggets, doing little throughout his four-minute goalless first-half stint.
The truth that Rivers used two rookies in his rotation is probably extra important than how they performed in a restricted period of time. He may have prolonged his stars’ minutes, after all, however the group’s general play on Tuesday was poor. There wasn’t a lot danger or hurt in making an attempt one thing completely different.
A small bench unit with Mike Scott within the heart and Maxey and Shake Milton (10 factors, 4 assists) within the backcourt reduce a Denver lead as soon as as huge as 25 factors and compelled the Nuggets to maintain their gamers. in rotation. the bottom till the final buzzer. Maxey completed with 13 factors on a 4 for 9 shot in 16 minutes.
“For some time we thought they had been going to do that, which is an effective signal,” Simmons mentioned. “The younger guys got here right here prepared and enjoying – they had been circling. It was good to see.”
Simmons has a comparatively restricted impression
Simmons has simply 5 assists in his final two video games.
Forward of the sport, Rivers mentioned he appreciated what he lately noticed of Simmons as a screener.
“We have been doing all of it 12 months, however he is getting higher with each sport,” he mentioned. “It actually will depend on the video games and the place we wish to use it. We do not need him to only make picks when groups are altering on a regular basis. We would like him to make picks, particularly towards the little guys. I feel it was simpler on Seth (Curry) really, as a result of they do not wish to change this sport. All we’re making an attempt to do, actually – clearly the man with the ball, if he can get a shot – however what we’re making an attempt to do is give it again to Ben in the midst of the paint, as a result of he is our greatest. resolution. -maker. I feel it is a very troublesome inventory to maintain.
All of Rivers’ factors are strong, though opponents of the Sixers are usually not oblivious to the menace Simmons presents. The Nuggets coated loads of ball screens, which opened up some simple lob probabilities, but in addition put the Sixers’ ball handlers in awkward positions at occasions.
“For me, I simply need to make a greater sport, a greater resolution,” Harris mentioned. “They’d (Jokic) in place, so going ahead it is a sport the place you cross the ball backward and forward. And make the large play for the semi-blitz up there. thought we have carried out it just a few occasions however not sufficient, particularly early within the sport. It is a blanket they use and it will not be the final time we see it, for my part. “
Simmons has spent extra time watching the motion develop from the dunking level on this sport than being impactful as a screener, curler, and facilitator. He scored 4 of his factors with the Nuggets main by greater than 20 on the finish of the third. Though he had two steals, neither of the Sixers’ particular person defenders had been superb on this sport, Simmons included.
Tuesday evening is not a severe concern within the grand scheme of issues, though it is attention-grabbing to see how Rivers makes use of Simmons in half-court when Embiid returns and George Hill is wholesome.
We’re assuming Simmons will nonetheless be featured as a screener and curler, and defenses will throw a wide range of ball display covers on the Sixers within the playoffs.