The Sixers (35-26) hosted the Memphis Grizzlies (21-41) on Wednesday. Philadelphia wanted to redeem themselves from Tuesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Memphis wanted to build on Monday's win over the Nets. The Sixers coughed up a double-digit fourth-quarter lead en route to a second consecutive bad loss, 115-109.

Before we get to the game, some notes.

Contextual Notes

The Grizzlies were without the services of Ja Morant, who is out for the season as he recovers from a labral repair in his right shoulder. Desmond Bane has a sprained left ankle and was out.

Marcus Smart is recovering from a central slip tear of the right ring finger and was out. Ziaire Williams has a strained hip flexor in his right low back and was not available.

Brandon Clarke is out for the season as he recovers from a repaired left achilles tendon. Derrick Rose is recovering from a right groin/low back injury and was out.

Scotty Pippen Jr. has a bulging lumbar disc and was not available. Yuta Watanabe missed the game with a sprained right wrist.

Taylor Jenkins started Luke Kennard, John Konchar, Vince Williams Jr., Santi Aldama, and Jaren Jackson Jr.

The Sixers were without the services of Joel Embiid, who remains out as he recovers from a procedure to address a meniscus injury in his left knee. Tyrese Maxey has a concussion and was out.

Kyle Lowry missed the game to rest on the second night of a back-to-back. De'Anthony Melton has a stress response in his lumbar spine bone and was not available.

Robert Covington remained out with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Nick Nurse started Cameron Payne, Buddy Hield, Tobias Harris, Nico Batum, and Paul Reed.


- We may never know if there was a silent message behind Reed being cast to the bench in favor of Mo Bamba over the past few games. All we can say for sure is what Nick Nurse said publicly - the opposing big man depth was such that they thought Reed was better suited to match up as a reserve.

But, that decision also came after a string of games in which Reed was clearly stepping beyond the confines of his role on offense. I struggle to believe that Nurse and his staff were exactly thrilled with Reed taking step-back fading 15-footers. And Reed's own words after the first game in which he came off the bench for the starting Bamba - he referred to it as a demotion - certainly didn't dress the move up as a strategic decision.

Whatever the case, Reed has exhibited a simplified mindset and a return to his high-energy traits over the last few games. He didn't treat the return to the starting unit as a nod to go back to what he had been doing before being cast to the bench.

Look no further than Reed battling for an offensive rebound, falling over the loose basketball after racing a Grizzlie to the long board, jousting with the enemy to secure the rock, and then using a final burst of energy to shove it into the arms of a teammate to keep the possession alive as an example of the mentality Bball Paul has right now.

Wednesday was the latest in a recent line of games to see Reed do the dirty work - and, with this group right now, there's a lot of it to be done - to give his team extra bites at the apple.

And when the ball was in his hands, the approach was simplified. He sought out the rim, using his length and athleticism to get to the basket in two dribbles or less. Even as a roller, he maintained his stride as he caught the ball and focused on finishing at the rim.

There will be moments when Reed builds enough equity in his minutes to earn the reward of taking an ill-advised shot. And, when he's feeling it anyway, an awkward jumper might not even be the worst shot the offense can come up with. There were back-to-back possessions in the second quarter in which Reed squared Jackson Jr. up and drilled 10-footers, the later of which came after a behind-the-back dribble.

Part of the key to Reed having the trust to take that shot with regularity is him demonstrating that he knows when it's appropriate to pull out of the bag. You don't want him pulling the trigger early in the shot clock, and you don't want the volume to do more harm than good. At the end of the day, it's not that Reed doesn't have the skill as a shooter (feel free to debate that if you want). It's that the shots beyond the scope of his role are analytically inefficient. So, unless the guy is a reputed knockdown midrange shooter, you don't want to burn the possession on what amounts to a long two. You especially don't want Reed doing it all that often because it inherently means the biggest guy in your lineup is not by the basket to get the rebound if the shot misses.

- Kudos to Jeff Dowtin Jr. for stepping up as one of the Sixers' last guards standing and providing totally competent play. With Payne, Harris, and others cobbling together enough ball-handling to not be totally lost against ball pressure, Philadelphia needed someone to not panic when the ball landed in their hands, and dribble and make quick decisions without being a walking turnover. That would do against the injury-riddled Grizzlies.

Dowtin knew when to get off the ball, keeping his head up as he dribbled so that he could read what was unfolding in front of him. He made timely passes ahead in transition, and didn't let the moment get too big when the ball swung his way for open catch-and-shoot threes.


- Certainly not a great look that Harris was the second most decorated player in this game and still blended in with the likes of guys on the Grizzlies you've never heard of more than he blended in with Jackson Jr.

At what point does it become about pride? Nurse clearly doesn't have faith in Harris right now; he called set plays specifically for Oubre Jr. to attack. That is, he drew up set plays for the guy on a minimum deal who can only attack with his left hand. Sure, Oubre was working on his second consecutive 25-point night. Feed the hot hand. But, a competitive athlete being paid what Harris is should take offense to that. But, at the end of the day, he should be more disappointed with himself because that's an indictment of his own play. Eight points on 12 shots in this game; as soon as it came to winning time, all the shots that are usually easy money suddenly looked impossible. So impossible, in fact, that Harris couldn't even navigate isolations against Kennard.

- You would've thought Aldama was a 43-percent three-point shooter on eight attempts per game the way the Sixers were closing out on him on the perimeter. Insanely heavy feet to contest a guy shooting 34 percent from long range.

The Sixers (35-27) will host the New Orleans Pelicans (37-25) on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., Eastern time. You can catch the action on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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