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.
“I don’t think I touched the ball in the last 4 minutes of the game.” – Joel Embiid after Game 6
About. Embiid’s final touchdown came with 3:59 remaining.
That 1 touch is tied for the fewest he has had in the last 4 minutes of a game all year. October 24—A blow against fast bowlers—He also had… pic.twitter.com/aCDxO3AjEg
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) 12 May 2023
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.
Doc River’s last 9 games to make the Conference Finals:
2015 Game 5 — Loss
2015 Game 6 — Loss
2015 Game 7 — Loss
2017 Game 7 — Loss
2020 Game 5 — Loss
2020 Game 6 — Loss
2020 Game 7 — Loss
2021 Game 7 — Lost
2023 Game 6 — Loss pic.twitter.com/rD6VT9XHnk
— َ (@FeelLikeDrew) 12 May 2023
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