The Philadelphia 76ers have suffered embarrassing losses, more Andrew Bynum setbacks and a rant from coach Doug Collins this week. As if the week couldn’t get worse for the Sixers, they have to end it by facing the Golden State Warriors on March 2. While the Warriors may not be as strong as they were to start the season, they have more than enough to overpower the scoring-challenged Sixers.
Golden State made headlines on Feb. 27 when Stephen Curry scored 54 points in Madison Square Garden. It was the biggest showcase yet for Curry and a Warriors’ offense that averages over 100 points a game. In contrast, the Sixers have the worst offense in the NBA with an average of 91.8 points a game.
With a seven-game losing streak, a 22-34 overall record and the likelihood of season-ending surgery for Bynum, this isn’t the right time to face a team like the Warriors. If Golden State plays to its full potential, it could give Philadelphia its biggest blowout to date.
However, the Warriors have lost three games in a row and Curry had a poor shooting night in a loss to the Boston Celtics on March 1. The Warriors only scored 86 points in that loss, so they can be contained. Yet the Celtics are far more capable of doing that than the Sixers, and are also far more capable of scoring points themselves.
Even if the Sixers hold the Warriors’ offense in check, their own scorers may not be able to take advantage. In the entire month of February, Philadelphia scored 90 points or more only four times and lost each of those games.
The Sixers can’t even blame this on Bynum’s absence, since he has never been a high scorer. They had still managed to score 100 points or more every so often before February, yet the offense has plainly run out of gas in recent weeks.
The Warriors are slumping and are barely holding onto the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. But the Sixers may be the cure for what ails them, as they have been for most other teams lately. Even if Curry doesn’t have another 50 point game in him, he and Golden State may not need that many points to overwhelm Philadelphia.