We don’t need to spend too much time on this one. The Sixers got boat raced on Tuesday night. It wasn’t even competitive. Poor effort, no spirit, just a bad vibe from the beginning. It felt at times like portions of what we watched in the putrid Hawks series from last season. Go into the Thesaurus and find me a word that’s stronger than “abhorrent.”
The Sixers emptied the bench with 8:17 left while down by 29 points. Doc Rivers waved the white flag and signaled the pilot to fire up the plane. We’re coming home for a Game 6. Somebody get David Kelleher a courtside seat and a “My Pillow” from Mike Lindell because we’re gonna need a good luck charm.
Observations and notes:
- The Sixers turned the ball over 15 times.
- They shot 36.5% from the field.
- They were 9-32 from three (about 28%).
- Total field goal attempts were actually +1 in their favor because they grabbed 10 offensive rebounds.
- Tyrese Maxey was 2-10 from the floor and 1-4 from three.
- Tobias Harris finished 5-14 from the field.
- Georges Niang is struggling mightily. 0-6 Tuesday night and a shell of the quality regular season contributor we saw.
- James Harden fell back to Earth with 14 points on 5-13 shooting.
- 17/5/2 for Joel Embiid, who didn’t have it. Not one bit. Looked lethargic out there. He only got to the foul line three times and just didn’t seem to have the same energy we saw in games three and four.*
- The Sixers didn’t do anything in transition. Six points total, 15 for Miami. It looked more like their regular season numbers in that regard. They were static on offense and didn’t hit enough shots to really get back and set up their defense as frequently as they usually do. All of it was barfy.
- You knew Miami’s shooting splits were a little funky earlier in this series. They snapped out of it in a big way, hitting 53% from the floor and almost 40% from three. They look like a different team at home.
- It’s annoying because with a healthy Embiid they probably beat this team in six or seven. Jimmy Butler is Jimmy Butler, and they’ve got nice depth, but there’s nobody on this team who really scares you. If you’re scared of Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Bam Adebayo, get a dog.
- Kyle Lowry being out was a net positive for the Heat.
*It was bizarro when the broadcast suggested that Embiid was playing poorly because he’s bummed about not winning MVP:
Charles Barkley a former Sixer thinks Joel Embiid had his “head in his ass” cause of the…MVP vote? But not the fractured face that just got slammed, the torn thumb, or recent concussion? Elite analysis! pic.twitter.com/iVdeJuEtyz
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) May 11, 2022
Love Sir Charles, and he wasn’t wrong when he said Embiid “wasn’t there tonight,” but dude has a broken face and injured thumb and knew for weeks he wasn’t winning MVP. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t mopey or whatever because he didn’t win an award that we all assumed was going to Nikola Jokic. Plus, he got hit in the face and I think I remember him holding his back at one point, so there’s nothing negative anybody can say about Embiid that can be taken seriously. It’s a miracle the guy is even out there at all. He played injured in Toronto, got further injured from a cheap shot, and is now patched up and playing anyway. What more do you want from the guy?
There was also this:
“They were so much more engaged. There’s a lot of disappointment from all of us. We played at a snails pace. Their energy was better. Their toughness was better. That’s on me to make sure they are ready. That’s on all of us. Tonight we were not (ready)”
-Doc Rivers pic.twitter.com/3wWNBTrAdV
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 11, 2022
We might be one game away from the end of the Doc Rivers era. No Negadelphia right now though on that front. We can do that all summer if they crash out again in the second round. There will be plenty of time to hammer the head coach.
I guess the good news is that they’ve shown they can beat Miami two times in a row, but those were both at home (duh), so does anyone have confidence they can go back down to Florida and win a Game 7 on the road? Probably not, but fingers crossed. Another second round exit might break the greater Delaware Valley.