Real-time observation: The 76ers beat the Wizards with an outstanding performance in Game 5
Behind the outstanding performance of Seth Curry and the outstanding efforts of almost everyone in the rotation, the 76ers defeated the Wizards 129-112 in the fifth game. The Philadelphia team returned to the second round.
This is what I saw.
• We rarely have the opportunity to provide this team with Curry’s characteristic bill. Letting him shoot himself has been one of the biggest challenges facing this team throughout the season. But because the 76ers needed to cheer up on their MVP, Curry took advantage of the favorable matchup with Raul Netto to come forward on offense.
The 76ers made money by sticking to the effective way this season, and the beginning of the third quarter was a refinement of Rivers’ offensive style. When Curry started torturing poor Neto, he didn’t even need to dial his own number—Tobias Harris held two fingers in the air and rotated them a few times. This is if the Wizards can’t stop it. Their universal gestures.
They couldn’t do it most of the night. Curry’s ability to dribble and make tough shots made Washington lose his balance all night. When they desperately prevented him from shooting three-pointers, he opened up a channel for the basket and shot from mid-range. In this team, few players are as interesting as Curry, and he has some extra skills to share in a great game.
It is true that when Joel Embiid is in the lineup, it is difficult to get this exact version of Curry. There are only so many shots and touches around, and he doesn’t always have someone he can use like Neto. But it is undeniable that he recovered after struggling to find a foothold after contracting COVID, which is a big event for this group.
• This version of Harris is closer to the version we saw throughout the season, and the memory of the fourth game quickly disappeared. For Harris, the situation was not all smooth sailing-he still had some problems when completing the offense at the basket-but he found a foothold in the duel with Hachimura, and he has definitely been tortured in this series.
However, what Harris really changed this game was on the defensive end. The Wizards looked like they were about to turn one of Daniel Garford’s shots into another fast break point during a possession midway through the third quarter. As a result, Harris suddenly crossed the floor, intercepted the pass, and then sent it back to another. One direction. Ben Simmons scored through contact and then made a free throw, which was a five-pointer in a game, close all the way.
This is one of the few examples of Harris bending his knees to ensure the 76ers cross the bottom line. He is not the most consistent defender in the world, but he has many moments of influence this season and is much better than ever. Like many others on the team this year, he takes his responsibility as a leader seriously.
• This series did not go on as everyone in Philadelphia had hoped, but Tyrese Maxi’s coming forward was one of the great stories in the first round, only a few months after Maxi was basically out of the rotation. time.
When Maxey is on the court, it is impossible to keep him away from the ball. Even if the 76ers didn’t attack for him, he was the one holding the ball at the end of the game, and his teammates believed that the rookie could create some separation while the number of seconds gradually decreased.
This is the crazy part: if officials give him the calls he deserves, Maxi will have a better series. Maxi got a hand through the Nets in a dunk attempt in the first quarter. He seemed to be fouled in a beautiful finish halfway through the second quarter. This fact did not escape the boos of fans at Wells Fargo Center. .
Regardless, the 76ers need more of him to move forward, especially when they are in a situation where they need to downsize without Embiid. Maxi actually provides the small ball benefits you want on the court, mainly to create shots, and he is absolutely delightful in the first few minutes of the playoffs.
• Lakers fans watched Danny Green playing basketball last season and concluded that he should be the person they should complain about on social media most of the season, which makes me unbelievable. His cold offense is cruel, I admit it, but this guy will win wherever he goes, which is by no means an accident.
As the 76ers got into a tense battle in the first 24 minutes, Green came alive and sent the 76ers into halftime, bringing a good atmosphere. After catching Bradley Beal on one possession, he almost rushed forward on another possession, then stole a pass from Russell Westbrook in the backcourt and scored at the basket. After only 30 seconds or so, he hit a corner three-pointer on his iconic bottom line cut, which resulted in an offensive foul on Westbrook and gave the 76ers the last time to see the rim before halftime. opportunity.
Having said all this, he sensed this moment, beckoning to the crowd and cheering him up. Philadelphia has an obligation, and he can easily do it.
(By the way, I can’t believe that he just got rid of the strange fall of the knee bent at the end of the first half. If my legs were bent like that.)
• Dwight Howard’s consecutive free throws in the playoffs are like finding a five-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Do it three times in the same game?consider That is a gift from a higher power.
It was a difficult series for Howard, but in the last game where they needed him the most, he tried his best to make up for it. Howard is ubiquitous on offensive rebounds, and on the other end is a threat on the basket. Without him, they have almost no chance to provide the blocks they need.
• Regarding Ben Simmons’ night, I think the best thing you can say-when the Wizards decided to adopt the Hack-a-Ben strategy late in the first half-it actually seemed to make Simmons more Enter the game after a difficult start. Many people (including his teammates) thought this was a psychological battle, and it was great to see him come forward after being challenged.
Is it extra work between games 4 and 5? Does the masses have anything to do with this? Wells Fargo Center welcomed him to the free throw line with enthusiastic applause. Simmons made 3 of 4 from the free throw line. Scott Brooks decided to abandon this strategy. By then, it was too late, and since then, Simmons has become a more active participant in the Philadelphia offense.
In the third quarter, we even saw Simmons playing the role of a conversion hunter, and the Wizards tried to use Ish Smith to defend him and put him on the plate. Simmons placed Smith on his hip or behind him late in the third quarter, using his size advantage to get into the basket or hit the cut when the doubles were about to come.
There are some flashes of how Simmons affects the game as a short passer, and admittedly, the opportunities are limited. In the first half, Simmons hit Green at the bottom corner under cover and made several open three-pointers. Green just couldn’t make a shot.
Looking back at this series, without Embiid, maximizing his impact on defense will be tricky for Philadelphia. He will be the biggest player in many lineups, and if they play against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, then whenever Howard is not in the game, he should be rushed to the rim by Clint Capela. The problem will be a huge challenge. Rivers chose to use Matisse Sebull on Bill in many matches on Wednesday. I would like to know how they choose to solve a series of new problems they will face.
• The 76ers do not have their best players, and they face more severe challenges in the playoffs. But, as they have often done this season, despite some inherent excuses for struggling, they will take care of the business and find a way to complete it. Win in any way necessary, and then worry about the rest.
• In the opening minutes of Game 5, you can see why Rivers (and Brett Brown before him) hesitated to make Simmons or Harris play small teams as a defensive five-man team. The Wizards basically got everything they wanted under the rim, which clearly shows that rim protection is a key part of achieving this job.
The challenge of defending Bradley Beal is that he can hurt you on all three levels. If you can’t stand on his chest and guide him towards the help you’re waiting for in the paint, you can’t reliably defend him. Philadelphia tried to play a role in him, and what he achieved was only to provide him with a runway to the basket in the first few minutes. Once he passed the second level, no one could shut him out.
Over time, Philadelphia will clean it up, but if they are to hold the fort without Embiid in the playoffs, they must do better. You are not always (or even often) able to control players from the outside, they need to figure out how to protect the basket, or adjust the plan to take advantage of their conversion ability. There will be problems another day.
• It’s normal for Simmons to spend a lot of time in the dunk position with this 76ers, but this is in the ecosystem built around Embiid. The time he spent there in the past two games is a bit worrying, and it is not clear whether this was Rivers’s decision or Simmons’s own choice.
Rivers did not fully ask the 76ers to creatively attack Washington. Washington’s defense in this game looks better than they have any right. The 76ers sometimes use the jerk version of Globetrotter Weave, running in succession after successor without even getting an inch closer to the rim. Even their successful possession of the ball is often ugly, too many isolated games and standing next to a group of people who could have played with different looks.
Simmons also received some criticism, at least until the Hack-a-Ben strategy allowed him to move on. As he demonstrated in the second half and most of this series, this is a team he can punish when he is more than just waiting in space for something to happen. Being able to show him the difference in the film will hopefully become the difference maker between the two rounds.
• I am not saying this to downplay all the bad fan behavior in the current league, but if the referees are so unfavorable for the rest of the playoffs, I am a little worried that they will become the next target for irritable people to flood these arenas. Some of the calls made now will be dropped in the preseason, not to mention the playoffs, and there seems to be no reason or reason to decide whether they want them to hit the body or get fouled inside.
Not sure what the solution here is. It seems that they will not get referee reinforcements or clearer rules in the playoffs. Everyone will have to learn to endure it.
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @Kyle newback
Like us on Facebook: Voice of Philadelphia Sports