3-Dei: Sixers must match Pistons' physicality

3-Dei: Sixers must match Pistons' physicality
February 1, 2014, 2:30 pm
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In the first two meetings, the Sixers have lost to the Pistons by a combined 25 points. (USA Today Images)

The Sixers will try to bounce back from what Brett Brown called “the poorest performance of the season” when his team lost at home Friday night to the Hawks, 125-99.

Tonight, the Sixers face the Pistons in Detroit. The Pistons -- like the Sixers -- are only an eight-win team on their home floor.

Here is the matchup in 3-Dei:

1. Be on the rebound
Tonight’s game is the third of four meetings between these two teams. Detroit won the first two games by double digits. In those games, the Pistons beat the Sixers by a combined 25 points.

The Pistons have a big, strong frontline with Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. In the first meeting, they combined for 58 points and 31 rebounds. The second, they totaled 48 points and 35 rebounds.

To beat Detroit, the Sixers’ frontline must match the physicality of its Detroit counterparts.

2. Defense matters
Last night, the Sixers allowed 37 points to the Hawks in the second quarter and 38 in the third. They continue to give up the most points in the NBA -- 110 per game -- and their point differential is second worst (minus-8.8).

The notion that they can outscore teams needs to be accepted as “no we can’t.” Getting stops has to be the goal.

Friday night, the Hawks shot 51 percent from the floor. It was the 10th time this season the Sixers have allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent or better. They are 1-9 in those games.

When the opponent shoots 45 percent or higher, they’re 5-23. The Sixers need to hold the Pistons under 45 percent. They’re 10-9 when they hold teams under 45-percent shooting.

3. Locate Turner and Wroten
Evan Turner is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.2 points. Since scoring a career-high 34 points in a win over the Knicks 10 days ago, Turner is shooting 35.8 percent from the fielding, including 2 for 10 and six points Friday night. It was his seventh single-digit output this season.

Tony Wroten was 1 for 13 from the floor Friday night. He’s the team’s sixth man, averaging 12.4 points off the bench. He missed a week because of an ankle injury, but returned last Saturday.

In four games since, he is 8 for 33 from the floor and hasn’t reached double-figure points while committing 10 turnovers.

Turner and Wroten need to live up to the roles they’ve been given.