Joel Embiid Faced A Surprising Problem In Game 6

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the third quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 11, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

When the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and returned home for Game 6, it appeared they were on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.

But they fell behind by a huge margin on Thursday, fought back and fell apart in crunch time, losing 95-86, and now there is a sense of impending doom around the team.

League MVP Joel Embiid had a solid 26 points in Game 6, but didn’t touch the ball until nearly the last four minutes of the game, and it’s baffling that his teammates couldn’t rock him when the contest got underway. Settle.

Embiid had his best season yet, averaging 33.1 points a game on 54.8 percent field-goal shooting, while leading the league in scoring for the second straight year.

But he still sometimes suffers from the mysterious disease of not consistently imposing his physical will on his opponents.

With Embiid missing in Game 6, the Sixers now face the uphill task of winning Game 7 in Boston, something that opposing teams have rarely accomplished.

They are hoping for a repeat of 1982, when the Julius Erving-led Sixers lost a potentially closeout Game 6 at home, only to surprise everyone by running away with a Game 7 at the old Boston Garden a year after blowing the series 3-1. Gave. The lead and falling in a classic Game 7 in Boston.

Then there’s the matter of Philly head coach Doc Rivers’ poor track record in his last nine attempts to reach the conference finals.

It will likely be a herculean effort from Embiid and his team for Boston to overcome that old grudge and take Game 7 to the wooden floor.

Stephen A. Smith says 76ers’ Game 6 loss could cost them some jobs