Scoring woes outside of key three derail Sixers in 113-101 loss to Pacers

Joel Embiid outscored the Indiana Pacers’ starters by himself in the first half on Friday night, but he couldn’t continue his production on offense at the same rate in the second half.

Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 113-101 home loss to the Pacers. Embiid, JJ Redick and Ben Simmons carried the team offensively against the Pacers, as no other player scored more than seven points; the trio accounted for 79.2 percent of the Sixers’ total points.

As Embiid got off to a quality start in the first half, the Sixers were able to run their offense through him – and it worked well.

Embiid worked in and around the paint, and aside from Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis playing solid defense against him, the rest of the Pacers couldn’t handle him in the post.

The second half was a different story, though. After scoring 28 points in the first two quarters, Embiid only had 12 points in the second half. He didn’t work inside as much, only taking four shots in the paint during the final two frames, half the number he had in the first half.

Joel Embiid

NBA.com

Embiid said recently that he was unhappy with how he was being used, stating that he felt he was being utilized as a floor spacer. Embiid shot six 3-pointers against the Pacers, only sinking one of them.

He’s shot 29.2 percent from the 3-point line this season and has attempted 4.1 shots from beyond the arc per game. It’s hard to argue that Embiid shouldn’t consistently be shooting this many 3-pointers, as he is most effective playing in or around the paint.

Though Embiid played well and had his struggles, the rest of the team didn’t assist much, especially on the offensive end. Redick scored 22 points, but he also shot 4-12 from deep.

Redick has been a solid option on offense this season but has obviously had his off nights as well, which is where other players need to step up and chip in on that end. Simmons scored 18 points and shot 7-15 from the field. Including this game, Simmons is averaging 19.0 points per game in the past four.

The Sixers have been without Jimmy Butler (groin) for two games now, so it’s understandable their offense is going to take a step back. Butler has provided another layer to the group due to his ability to shoot the ball, move without it, and get to the basket.

He is a versatile scorer, and the Sixers offense benefits because of that. But even so, if Butler misses any additional time, the rest of the team needs to look to score a bit more. The offense shouldn’t have to completely rely on Embiid, particularly in games when Butler where Butler is sidelined.

Going forward, the Sixers will need to figure out how to get more production on offense when they are down a player. The Sixers will play the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road Sunday afternoon.

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