The Sixers found themselves in a position to clinch the Eastern Conference's top seed Tuesday night against the Pacers but fell just short. Struggles late in the game resulted in Indiana walking away with a 103-94 victory.
Tuesday's matchup was a tale of two halves. After coming out strong and putting up a big lead early, things fell apart in the second half. The Sixers' offense came to a screeching halt after halftime as they failed to break 20 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
After the game, players were asked to give their thoughts on where things went wrong down the stretch. Both Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons cited not being able to get out in transition as one of the major issues.
"We didn't execute the way we wanted to in the start of the third quarter. Mainly due to the fact that we were forced to take the ball out every single time. We couldn't really get into transition because our defense was non-existent," said Harris postgame.
Doc Rivers has stressed pace since taking over coaching duties. Not playing fast, but playing the game at their speed. This offense is at its best when running in the open floor, but it wasn't something they could do much of against the Pacers.
"Defensively, I think we weren't able to get out in transition because we weren't stopping the ball. They were making shots," Simmons said Tuesday.
When running the offense through Simmons, it operates at its best in the open floor. Getting up the floor in transition allows him to catch defenses scrambling and showcase his elite drive-and-kick game.
Being forced to walk the ball up the court against a set defense hurt the Sixers greatly on Tuesday. It can be chalked up as a rare occasion where this team just wasn't able to consistently stops on defense.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.