NBA 2018-19: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Philadelphia 76ers, 3 Talking Points
Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Philadelphia 76ers, 121-112.
The Sixers came into this game being the only team in the league that was undefeated in their home arena. The Cavaliers arrived with a league-worst 2-13 record and a recent heartbreaking loss down the stretch to the LeBron-led Lakers.
When the clock expired in the final quarter at the Wells Fargo Center, we had witnessed the biggest upset of the regular season this year. Yes, every streak comes to an end eventually, but you just wouldn't have thought it would happen at the hands of the NBA's worst team.
Maybe the Sixers underestimated the desperation of the Cleveland roster to get a win and were caught off-guard. Or it could also be that the Cavaliers were better as a unit on the floor from the point of tip-off. Let's take a look at the three key talking points/takeaways from the Cavs' third win of the season.
#3 The Sixers forgot to defend at home
It was almost like the Sixers were a bit too confident in their ability to outscore the opposition. Especially when it came to Cavs guards Collin Sexton & Rodney Hood, Philly looked helpless at times.
There were wide open spaces up for the taking throughout the floor. The defense off screens wasn't as aggressive as it should have been. A glaring example of it is on display below when JJ Redick got beat on a backdoor screen and Osman scored easily off a pass from Larry Nance.
Clearly, Ben Simmons should have dropped back to take care of Cedi as there was no way JJ could have gotten around the screen. Such carelessness with the game hanging in the balance could cost them heavily down the season when games would mean way more.
The Sixers' sluggish attitude on defense was one of the prime reasons for their demise, as they offered the Cavaliers plenty of uncontested shots throughout the 48-minute game. The Cavaliers were getting to the spots they wanted to with ease owing to the lazy defensive movements by Philly in the open space. Missed switches, slow closeouts, and failures to adjust contributed to the loss.
“We struggled guarding them,” said Coach Brett Brown. “I thought their guards made tough shots, and they beat us off a live dribble.”
As a result, Cavs shot 50% from beyond the arc and 52.7% from the field.