The Sixers still can’t finish against the undermanned Trail Blazers

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

After Brett Brown’s squad gave the Trail Blazers all they could handle, inconsistency down the stretch cost the Philadelphia 76ers a close on in Portland.

This one’s going to be hard for Philadelphia 76ers fans to swallow.

After leading for much of the evening, by as many as 13 points at the start of the fourth quarter, our beloved Sixers once again dropped the ball, literally, down the stretch and ultimately have to leave the Beaver State as losers for the sixth time in the last seven games.

Though the contest did have its fair share of bright spots for the 76ers, like a pair of 20-plus point performances by Dario Saric and Joel Embiid, the team simply made too many mistakes, including 14 turnovers and absolutely horrid shooting in the fourth quarter that cost them the much-needed victory.

While we can’t place all of the blame solely on Brett Brown‘s shoulders per say, as he kept his squad in the game for most of the evening, the team’s total lack execution, personified by Ben Simmons intercepted inbounds pass to J.J. Redick that ultimately sealed the loss, is becoming more and more of an issue with each passing week, and may very well keep the team out of the playoffs.

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Other than sleeper Sixth Man of the Year candidate T.J. McConnell‘s quality bench production, recording 10 points and an incredible four steals in 34 minutes of play, the team only got six points from their veteran reserves, including a zero-point performance by former starter Jerryd Bayless. When the 76ers made a point of adding veteran players to their roster to help shepherd the team’s young players, I’m sure this wasn’t the production they expected to receive.

And worst of all? They the Trail Blazers didn’t even have their best player on the court.

Damian Lillard, the Blazers’ superstar point guard, was ruled out for the third straight game due to a strained hamstring, a scratch that forced the Blazers to once again start journeyman backup Shabazz Napier at the point. Now Napier is a solid player, as highlighted by his 23 points performance, but with the former Connecticut Huskie at the helm, the team has a 0-2 record and was on six games losing streak at home.

Simply put, If the 76ers were going to steal one from the Blazers on their home court it was going to be tonight, but unfortunately for Coach Brown’s squad, it simply wasn’t in the cards.

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Moving forward, the Sixers now must set their sights on the Denver Nuggets on the second game of their West Coast road trip. This is a game that the team should win, but hey, at this point can we really be that confident going into any game?