Pros and Cons: Sixers vs. Kings
Three observations after Sixers-Kings.
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
Looking to advance to 3-0 on this five-game homestand, the Sixers welcomed the struggling Sacramento Kings to town for a matchup. Here’s what stood out to me tonight:
Pro: Seth Curry returns to the lineup
Curry missed four straight games due to an ankle injury, and made his return tonight. His performance tonight was largely unspectacular, but in the long run, the Sixers’ half-court offense will look considerably better.
Curry, of course, brings value with his historically-great three-point shooting ability. But when you watch this offense operate, especially when Joel Embiid is at the epicenter of it, you notice just how valuable Curry’s gravity is.
Similar to when the Sixers had JJ Redick, simply having the reputation of an elite shot-maker opens up so much space for your best players to operate. Curry’s return also gave the Sixers the best version of their bread and butter offensively: actions built around Curry and Embiid’s elite partnership.
Even when Curry doesn’t score a ton of points, his mere presence makes life much easier for Embiid and company.
Con: Sixers shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers
From the outset, the Sixers couldn’t take care of the ball -- committing a whopping 13 turnovers in the first half alone. And when you turn the ball over a lot against this Sacramento team, you let their speedy personnel get out in transition where they have often been at their best in recent years.
Give credit to the Kings, who successfully crowded and threw many looks at Embiid early on. But for the most part, these were easily-avoidable mistakes that great teams don’t make against teams like the Sacramento Kings.
There was no single culprit here -- in fact, aside from Danny Green, every Sixer who played in the first half committed at least one turnover.
This brutal display is what happens when an entire team is disarray, and it put the Sixers in a significant hole during the first half.
Pro: Andre Drummond gives the Sixers a boost
Drummond did commit a couple of those aforementioned turnovers in the first half, but his second half stint was excellent and helped fuel a massive Sixers run in which they were able to take their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
Drummond was his typical dominant self on the glass, but it went beyond that: he protected the rim very well, altering quite a few shots, and also helped carve out space for Sixers guards with his screening.
We know by now that you’re not always going to get Drummond’s best. But even on a night like tonight when he had just some of his skills on display, he can be hugely impactful.