This Sixers team has so much potential, they need to stop turning the freaking ball over.

The 76ers latest game was against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, a game where they were faced with some high-pressure possessions during the last few minutes, a game in which they would ultimately lose to Ja Morant and the Grizzlies after Tobias Harris had a chance to take the lead but committed a devastating turnover. Harris’s turnover may be subject to the most criticism due to the high-pressure situation it occurred in, but it was far from the only reason the Sixers lost that game. The Sixers ended the game with 22 turnovers, a stat winning teams keep away from. “We were just very undisciplined, sloppy, with the basketball,” said Head Coach Doc Rivers. “We turned the ball over down the stretch the last two times down the floor, 22 turnovers, and still had a final shot to win the game. Disappointing loss, because a very winnable game tonight and we just didn’t get it done.”

Oct 26, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers (left) and assistant coach Sam Cassell against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seven of those turnovers were committed by the Sixers superstar Ben Simmons, who though he has given up some of his ball-handling duties to young guards like Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey, is still the Sixer primary ball handler. The problem with Simmons running the Sixers offense is his limited offensive game, as he will often drive hard to the basket using his superior size only to make a late pass from a congested paint that is often picked off by a defender. Unless Simmons adds some offensive variety to his game, the Sixers will continue to struggle in the turnover area with him continuing to make the same mistakes.

“If we don’t have those turnovers, it’s a win for us,” said Simmons. “We gotta come prepared no matter who we face and ourselves accountable early on in the game.”

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 30: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays defense against against the Indiana Pacers on November 30, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

As previously mentioned, Simmons’ ball-handling duties have been on the decrease this season, with the emergence of young guards Shake Milton taking over some of the duties as well as stars Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris embracing a ball-handling/offense-running role in certain offensive sets. The Sixers were without Embiid in their loss to the Grizzlies and Tyrese Maxey actually went turnover-less in the game, but Harris and Milton assisted the Grizzlies in gaining a win by contributing 5 turnovers of their own, each. It seems the Sixers can’t catch a break when it comes to turnovers, which have been an issue since Brett Brown’s coaching tenure, and Doc Rivers must take the necessary steps to fix this issue, like perhaps giving Maxey more playing time as a reward for his goose egg in the turnover column.

Successful playoff-contending teams are not only much more disciplined in the turnover area, and if the Sixers want to cement their status as one of those teams they need to figure out how to do the same.


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