Philadelphia 76ers Versus Houston Rockets Post Game Grades

The Philadelphia 76ers pride themselves on defense, but the team had no answer for arguably the NBA’s best James Harden. The team lost the contest 115-88, but the 76ers were beaten badly tonight.

The Philadelphia 76ers left the safety of Philadelphia, and this time the team brought rookie center Joel Embiid along for the game.  But despite another of Embiid’s double-double performances, this contest was never close after Houston Rocket James Harden took over.

The team may have hoped for a victory in Houston, but they found themselves looking for an answer for James Harden’s career high 23 point first quarter performance. Down by 12 after just one quarter, the 76ers never managed to rally in any of the four painful quarters tonight.

The 76ers struggled in  two of three key areas tonight: three-point shooting and rebounds. The team did manage to hold turnovers down to 12 while Houston committed 18 turnovers.  Half of the teams turnovers came at the hands of rookie Embiid.

After the Philadelphia 76ers jumped out to a 12-7 lead, it appeared to be a winnable game. Unfortunately, that perception never entered Harden’s mind. Brown tried to defend Harden with virtually every player dressed for the contest.

In the end, the Houston Rockets got away from the Philadelphia 76ers early, and the team never caught up. But how did individual players do?

Joel Embiid

C, Philadelphia 76ers

B-

If Joel Embiid was a mixed blessing for the team in this contest. He scored 13 points on sixty percent shooting from the floor. He also brought down 10 rebounds. In fact, he was active in virtually all parts of the basketball contest. So why less than A?

In a game against a high powered offense, JoJo struggled with turnovers (6) and personal fouls (5). While this is not to say that he contributed to the loss, his role with the team is leader. Embiid played his first game against the Rockets, but he already exhibits signs of a player who studies his competition. He did not play poorly, but this was not his best outing

Sergio Rodriguez

PG, Philadelphia 76ers

D

Sergio Rodriguez chose horrific timing to play poorly. While he did hand out six assists in the contest, he shot just 12.5 percent from the floor and scored all of two points in 27 plus minutes of play. The team did not even task him with defending Harden, instead electing to try Robert Covington, Nik Stauskas, Gerald Henderson, Hollis Thompson, and even T.J. McConnell on him. While that should have freed up Rodriguez to contribute offensively, his shots did not fall on this night. On this night, the absence of Jerryd Bayless was particularly biting. While Mcconnell had a more accurate shot, he pulled down and passed off on a number of shot opportunities tonight.

Jahlil Okafor

C/PF, Philadelphia 76ers

D+

Jahlil Okafor played over 21 minutes in this contest. But 21 minutes usually means plenty of points. Tonight, it did not. He scored just four points on two of eleven shooting. He did manage two blocks and three rebounds, he never seemed to be much of an impact in this contest. The second year center did not demonstrate much to his former assistant head coach tonight.

Dario Saric

F, Philadelphia 76ers

B-

Dario Saric contributes to this team at all aspects of the scheme. While he scored just 11 points At times, he shows off by scoring virtually from anywhere on the basketball court. Other times nothing seems to go in. Tonight? He seemed to be measuring his offense. In 24 minutes of play, he scored 11 points and brought down six rebounds. His shooting accuracy was a sub-par 36.4 percent, while his accuracy from three point range was 33.3 percent.

Robert Covington

SF, Philadelphia 76ers

D-

Robert Covington seemed to be hurting tonight. His assignment was defending James Harden, who promptly scored a career best 23 points in his first quarter. The next task was to at least help the team keep up offenisively. He shot just 14 percent from the floor (a three point shot at that) and scored just seven points on the night in 14 minutes of play.

Gerald Henderson

SG, Philadelphia 76ers

B-

Gerald Henderson performed solidly in this game. While scoring 11 points on 50 percent shooting, he also contributed with three steals, three assists, one rebound and one blocked shot. He even helped to slow down Harden in the second quarter to delay the runaway loss until the third quarter.

Ersan Ilyasova

PF, Philadelphia 76ers

B

Ersan Ilyasova continues to string together solid contributions from the 76ers bench Tonight was just one more game where he delivered. He tied Embiid with 13 points for the team, and brought in six rebounds. His shooting of 45.5 pecent accuracy helped to buoy the team’s average from teammates whose shots were not dropping.

In the end, it was the ninth loss of the 2016-2017 season for the Philadelphia 76ers. While the team shows elements of improving over last season, you must begin to hope for some modest success soon.

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