What we learned from the 76ers’ first round victory over the Wizards
Five games and Their best player is injured Later, the 76ers’ first round victory over the Washington Wizards was not as sweet as expected. But when you consider the average win gap and all the positive signs of their performance, you will be crazy dissatisfied with their efforts in the first round.
Before we continue to discuss the matchup with Atlanta in detail, let us take a moment to review the positive aspects of the series they just ended.
Tyrese Maxey can provide something now
Who would have expected the young Maxi to play a key role in this series? I think only people who have seen him in the last month of the season. But when the 76ers were in the middle of this crazy season, the game became more and more fierce. The main reason the head coach did not let him into the rotation was one of the main reasons: this kid could not defend.
“He is our worst defender, and he is not very close, the statistics have already told you,” Rivers said after winning Game 5 in Philadelphia. “Last month he made a turn on the defensive end. He did a lot of small moves on the defensive end-rebounds, digging, steals. Obviously, offensive energy exists, but watch him grow defensively on this team It’s absolutely amazing.”
Fact check: mostly true. Philadelphia’s defensive efficiency is worse than any other player when Maxi is on the court (110.6), and many problems are related to his rookie turnovers. Cheating too far from the shooter, miscommunication during the transition, and any other issues that caused Philadelphia to lose points with him on the court. If he doesn’t tighten this, he will never have a chance to improve them on offense.
Maxey made sure to give himself this opportunity through the work he continued every day. The rookie continues to ask questions of veterans like Danny Green and George Hill, important coaches like defensive coordinator Dan Burke, and anyone who can help him improve. The theme is constantly changing, from when to mark the scroll wheel to simple things like where he should be.
On the other hand, Maxey has always been full of energy, drawing energy from the energy provided by the Philadelphia crowd and showing resilience to fight on difficult roads. When the 76ers solved some of the early problems in Game 5, it was Maxey who provided them with enough dribbling opportunities so that they could hang out on the court and buy time for their starters to really play a role.
If he completes the fouled dunk attempt in the first half, I am quite confident that the Wells Fargo Center will collapse. The crowd’s love for Maxey is one of the main features of this experience-only one or two buckets of this child can make the building start to shake, which makes the sail of the whole team smooth.
Doc Rivers is more flexible than advertised
The book about Rivers entering the season eventually became an accurate guide to how to proceed this season. He gained more from key players by setting clearly defined roles, he assembled a group of talented assistants to help fill in the gaps, and he made some crazy choices in the name of consistency, mainly full benches. And Howard Simmons lineup.
After entering the playoffs, people want to know how creative or flexible Rivers will be. Between bench Milton’s support for Maxi and his inclination to start the fifth game with a small ball, the evidence shows that he is someone who wants to use the recent playoff loss as a lesson, don’t repeat.
The exciting thing about this development is that in this series, Rivers has the right to feel more comfortable and confident than any series in the rest of the playoffs. Washington is not a team built to challenge them seriously.Nonetheless, the head coach responded to what was in front of him, not what he might react to. hope In front of him, ride on hot hands and change things if necessary.
Playing small like Philadelphia did in Game 5 is not easy. They basically haven’t gotten rid of this state completely this season, and to do this in the playoffs, the coaches need to deliver some important messages before the final game.
“I think our job is to make sure everyone is in the right place, to make sure that our space is right,” Rivers said on Wednesday. “If we are going to get smaller, we have a non-painting rule like the transition period. We say paint, in terms of running without the ball, it is an electric fence. You have to run behind three people, and we have to keep the floor open.”
From now on, they will face a better team and better defense.we do not know what Rivers will beat them, but if Plan A doesn’t work, you will be more confident that they will change what they are doing (or who they are playing with).
Washington is much worse than many people think
Look, there are no big quotes or fancy analyses here. Despite the talented backcourt, the Wizards still have extreme loser energy. Russell Westbrook will play his sword the way he does, until he can’t do it anymore, and he and Bradley Beal both believe that defense is for most of this series and this season Optional.
Speaking of Bill, this must be one of the more bizarre post-quotes in recent memory:
Bradley Beal #They are coming: “I still firmly believe that we can take them to 7”
— Chris W. Klaus (@NBACrouse) June 3, 2021
Outside of the first game, Philadelphia’s victory was basically not close. The only game the Wizards won was when Joel Embiid was injured in the middle of the game, and the 76ers had to adjust quickly. It is one thing to have confidence in one’s abilities, but it is just a pure illusion. Perhaps this is why Bill hasn’t shown a tendency to leave a miserable franchise.
Even in the playoffs, the 76ers had multiple outs
In the hours before Game 5, the old “next man mindset” clichés were spread, as Philadelphia’s George Hill told reporters how the team would play without Embiid. Continue to move forward in the short term. This kind of thing sounds good on paper, but making up for the absence of star players in the playoffs is much more difficult than the regular season.
If you want to continue to believe in their chances of winning, please pay attention to how different the 76ers’ victory is in a fairly dominant five wins:
- The first game-Embiid got into foul trouble early, Tobias Harris scored 28 points in the first half to lead the team until the big man returned to the game
- Game 2-Simmons controlled Washington on both ends of the offense and defense, allowing the 76ers to win, while Embiid faced continuous double coverage
- Game 3-The Wizards decided to report Embiid solo, and Embiid tore it to pieces on the way to a comfortable victory
- Game 5-Philadelphia used a lot of small balls with Embiid out, Seth Curry scored 30 points, and the 76ers’ contribution to the rotation closed the door
At this time of the year, a lot of conversations revolve around identity, which is a matter of course. The team that can impose its will on the game and make the opponent play on its own terms usually wins. Before the playoffs, much of the discussion in the locker room was about the 76ers’ defensive calling card and how this will ultimately become the source of their success.
Frankly speaking, you can argue that this series is styled according to Washington conditions, and most games have relatively high scoring and rhythm. Even so, the 76ers are still able to go all out and end the series in a painless manner, despite the need to reach the final result in many different games.
Really, this is the story of this season. Whether it’s Simmons’ all-around contribution, Harris’s stable scoring at critical moments, Danny Green’s anger from the inside, or someone in the middle carrying them, this team just found a way to cross the line. Not only did they spend a period of mid-season without Embiid, but their performance was good enough (it is undeniable that there were some lucky breaks in the schedule) successfully stopping the No. 1 seed challenger.
The biggest test is still in front of them. But this team is confident even in uncertain times. This is a sign of a team where it is difficult for anyone to be eliminated in the playoffs.
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