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The Sixers think their fourth-quarter defense ‘stinks.’ What has gone wrong?


Article Summary:

This is the same group that came in with the sixth-best defense in the NBA, one of the best collections of defensive talent in the league, and two players who aspire to be in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. It’s the sort of feigning of interest in defense you expect from backup, minimum contract players, or defense-averse players on teams headed nowhere. The numbers have been downright ugly for the players he has spent the most time guarding in Orlando: DeRozan and Warren combined to shoot 14/18 against Simmons in their first two Orlando games, per NBA matchup data, a number even more demoralizing when you consider Simmons was in foul trouble and on the bench for much of Monday’s win.

On Monday night against San Antonio, Brown made a move I consider much worse: playing Simmons as a small-ball five in the fourth quarter.

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