Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has acknowledged that his team has to do a better job on the defensive end, starting from himself. The 76ers edged out the San Antonio Spurs 132-130 on Monday -- two days after losing to the Indiana Pacers 127-121.
Pacers' T.J. Warren scored 53 points against the 76ers on Saturday, while Spurs' DeMar DeRozan dropped 30 points against the 76ers two days later. "We got to do a better job," Embiid said after the 76ers claimed a narrow win over the Spurs, as quoted on ESPN.
"We want to be the best defensive team in the league, so we have to just take the challenge. It's not just the fourth quarter. It's the whole game. The last two games, we haven't been able to keep our man in front of us, and I have to do a better job of protecting the rim and making sure I can correct some mistakes."
76ers coach Brett Brown not happy
The Pacers scored 46 points in the fourth quarter of their game against the 76ers, before the Spurs dropped 43 points in the final quarter against the 76ers two days later. The 76ers lost to the Pacers in a stunning fashion and they were inches away from blowing another game -- but they managed to escape another disappointing loss.
76ers coach Brown wasn't thrilled with his team's defensive effort in the fourth quarters of the last two games and admitted his team was lucky to beat the Spurs. The Spurs led 130-128 before the 76ers rallied back to claim a tight win.
"I think it stinks," Sixers coach Brett Brown said afterward of his team's lackluster fourth quarters. "I think it's not anything that we believe in or talk about. We were very lucky to win tonight. In two closeout periods, against Indiana it was 46, tonight it was 43 ...
that's not going to get anything of any importance done. "It is well within our reach, immediately, to flip the switch. We have to have an immediate paradigm switch and an admittance we can't afford to pick and choose.
The past two games, we have done that. I give credit to Indiana and tonight to the Spurs ... but in general, it ain't going to get it done. It's not who we are, and it needs to be fixed, and fixed it will be."