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Give and Go: Why can't Sixers defend the 3?
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Each week we'll ask questions about the Sixers to our resident basketball analysts and see what they have to say.
 
Running the Give and Go this week are CSNPhilly.com Sixers insider Dei Lynam, CSNPhilly.com columnist John Gonzalez and CSN producer Sean Kane.

What’s behind Sixers’ struggles defending three-pointers?

Lynam: The Sixers' three-point defense has been dismal. Brett Brown insists on protecting the paint first and foremost, and he has so many young players who have yet to learn and execute the simplest of defensive principles. The coach has admitted to having to make things “vanilla” at both ends of the floor. Over time, I think they'll improve at getting out to shooters, but in the early going, the Sixers have been a step slow and teams have taken advantage of that weakness.
 
Gonzalez: Again, I think pace and personnel are an issue here. When the style is so up-tempo, the emphasis is on maximizing offensive possessions, sometimes to the detriment of defense -- whether it be on the interior (where Anthony Davis crushed them) or the perimeter (where everyone crushes them). The Sixers rank fifth-worst in opponent effective field goal percentage (a formula that adjusts for three-pointers being more valuable than twos). That says quite a bit about their defensive issues.
 
Kane: Jim Lynam did a great job breaking this down on Sixers Postgame Live following Wednesday's loss to the Raptors, a game in which Toronto shot 14 of 29 from three-point range. It boils down to a combination of poor execution and poor awareness defensively. Far too often, Sixers defenders lose track of their man on the perimeter in an effort to unnecessarily double-team (or sometimes triple-team) the post. In other instances, defenders go under a ball screen at the top of the key rather than over it, giving their man a free look from the top of the key.
 
It's a team-wide problem from the veterans to the rookies and second-year players. The Sixers are dead last in the NBA in three-point field goals allowed per game (11.3) and third-to-last in opponents’ three-point field goal percentage (39.3). Contrast that with the Sixers averaging 7.0 three-point field goals per game and shooting just 32.3 percent from beyond the arc. The old adage says you live by the three, you die by the three. Right now, the Sixers are dying at an historical rate.

Read Friday's Give and Go here, on the Sixers' release of Kwame Brown and Darius Morris.