Five likes and dislikes of the Sixers losing to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4

Despite being sloppy in the first half of Game 4, they achieved double-digit results at the end of the half, and the 76ers were ready for the series. But after a catastrophic 24 minutes, Philadelphia lost what Doc Rivers called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and finally lost. As the series returned to the city of brotherly love, it created uncertainty.

There are many reasons for this game to go south, some of which we reported in our report on Monday night, but any assessment of this loss must start with their two most important players. let us begin.

Dislike: Joel Embiid, losing his mind and health

There are many differences between the Joel Embiid we saw in 2021 and the Joel Embiid we saw for the rest of his career. One of the biggest changes has to do with the ecosystem around him-with a new head coach and a revised roster, Embiid has learned to trust his teammates, and if the team is overloaded on his court, he will Win with his pass. He himself admitted that trust in those around him helped Embiid reach a new level as a player.

“It’s like, when things get tough, who will show up, this is my job, that is to be aggressive,” Embiid said after winning in mid-January. “Aggressive doesn’t mean scoring. It also means that, especially when other team players are defending me, I can do a lot and create shots for my teammates. I may not get these assists, but A simple kick out will end [with] Shoot easily. Every year you are learning, you are in a different situation. “

On Monday night, the older and smarter Embiid was nowhere to be found. He shot poorly and tried to respond in his own way, and completely ignored the concept of the team during the worst offensive half of his playoff career. Embiid’s field goal percentage in the second half on Monday was 0-for-12, representing the most missed field goal attempts by any player in the playoffs in the past 25 years. He is so bad.

Embiid’s almost omnipotent ability on the offensive end allowed the 76ers to spend most of the season. The cold shots of his teammates were overshadowed by his crazy shooting ability from the three-point line. He is the best player on the team and deserves such a performance. But there is a difference between being confident and gaining a narrow vision, being ignorant of what is happening around you. Embiid did not use the attention he attracted to open the ball to his teammates, but tried to break through with his own strength. Seth Curry is one of the rare players who played well on Monday night, and Embiid didn’t bother to play him in a simple way:

After the game, Dr. Rivers made a list of reasons why he determined Philadelphia was notorious in Atlanta. One of them seems to be directly involved in Embiid, who sometimes seemed to be the only person on the court in the second half of the game.

“We stopped passing,” Rivers said Monday. “I thought we started the game this way, and then we went back to the sport of ball, and then we went back to hero basketball. Basically, everyone wants to be a hero, not just trust the team and each other. So When you do this you usually lose, especially when another team beats you in the entire f-king game, which is what they did today.”

Embiid continued along this road into the final minutes of the game. You can see his teammate yelling for the ball as he tried to pass the low-position Eagles player, open his arms waiting for him to see the report and respond:

Personally, I fully support teams that live and die with their stars. But this does not mean that you were not cautious in the game. Embiid’s worst habit as a player has gradually faded out of sight for most of the season and has returned to the forefront. Some of his mistakes, including the last one at the basket over time, can be explained by the lack of explosive power caused by knee problems.Play crippled basketball

Dislike: Ben Simmons, passenger

For some people, Simmons’ second-half stats speak for themselves-one shot made a three-pointer, one rebound and two assists. Undeniably, this helped a lot in explaining how and why the 76ers lost on Monday night. When one of your best players is invisible for the entire second half, it is difficult to win the game.

I’m not sure if that rotten thread can solve this problem. Position tags may mean less than ever, but they are still related to the player’s responsibilities on both ends of the court. An ordinary point guard, especially a guard at the highest level, will see Embiid’s halftime at some point and guide the flow of people away from the big men. They can do some pick-and-rolls to call their own numbers, or create a relaxed look for struggling big men. Hell, they can at least have a conversation with teammates who try (but fail) to win with a hero ball, whether in words or actions. But this is not Simmons.

After the game, Simmons said: “We must make sure that we are in an orderly manner, enter our position and move the ball.” “We are not a team that will go monotonous every time, but we need to transfer the ball and let everyone participate. Make the right game.”

Doesn’t this sound like the responsibility of the point guard? Half of the time, the problem is that Simmons never thought about attacking or stealing the game. For example, in this game, he had no purpose at all, set a screen for Seth Curry and got the switch they might want, just wasted the opportunity, when the ball came to his side, he stood in place Hot potato:

He never thought of attacking Bogdan Bogdanovic in his mind. His head never turned to the basket, he chose to return the ball to Curry, who was defended by a player with a similar size advantage. Simmons is looking for someone else to take responsibility for the offense, and Curry is happy to help.

Frankly speaking, Simmons’ participation in this game is an upgrade to many of his properties in Philadelphia. The number of shots on the field has increased, and a new head coach has been added, but Simmons continues to wander in the same area on the field, with the same efficiency as he has at important moments in the past few years (no). Unless Simmons has a clear path to the rim during the transition, he is getting rid of the ball and hoping that others can solve the problem.

The easiest way here is to blame the head coach for his offensive performance. It is worth it. Attacking through a player who has performed poorly in history, even if he is the player who brought you to this position in the first place, is a stupid way of dealing with it. Rivers’ voice clearly resonated with this group of people, as he did to Simmons at the halftime of the third game, and set aside so that the Philadelphia team can play through him and continue to win the game. game.

I don’t accept Rivers’ failure as an excuse for the person responsible for the offense of the team to erase his hands where you need him most. Is it because the problem of free throws will not go away, so that he dare not touch the ball? It hardly matters. He himself admitted that Simmons hadn’t done enough.

“I should definitely be more aggressive, more offensive,” Simmons said Monday. “I think the pitch of this game is a bit off, we didn’t reach our pitch. We were not so aggressive in the second half.”

Like: Seth Curry calls to attack

I will not waste your time being poetic about Curry’s night, not after avoidable losses like this. But if the 76ers let this hot man continue to cook in the second half, maybe they will end on the right side of the final result. Frankly speaking, this is just another example of the failure of Embiid and Simmons mentioned above.

Dislike: looking for the fifth starter

The decision to start Furkan Korkmaz was not unexpected, although Rivers spoke of this decision as if he was in charge of US nuclear regulations. Considering Korkmaz’s excellent third game and the overall coordination with the starting lineup, everyone can see it coming, and it makes sense to see everything he has with the other starting players. Korkmaz eventually scored a huge three-pointer late in the game, but he was very brutal for most of the night. He was defensively as the Eagles tried to find the newest starter for the Philadelphia team. Was blocked.

Would you rather deal with this problem, or watch the 76ers try to play four-on-five on the offensive end? Atlanta basically didn’t care about defending Matisse Sable in Monday night’s game. The Hawks basically dared to beat another 76ers teammate as a shooter when they rushed to the rim.

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Philadelphia barely lost the time Thybulle played on Monday, so maybe you can prove that they should give him a chance to start him in Game 5. Considering how bad the numbers have been throughout the season, I’m not sure they can get away from it.

It doesn’t matter if George Hill looks like the person they expected him to be when they traded him. Hill has been cruel in this series of the Hawks, and most of the time he doesn’t seem to know what his purpose is on the court. For one of the simplest plug-and-play guards in the league, this It is a shocking development. He is now a living office space meme.

If the 76ers can finish this series, it is even more important to find a productive fifth starter in the next round. No stress!

Dislike: failure to seize the opportunity

I can say that this series should be over and the 76ers should rest at home with the Phoenix Suns. The loss of Philadelphia’s first game was the direct result of a bad and misguided initial game plan. This plan was obviously terrible and did not benefit from Atlanta’s first-round victory over the Knicks. Game 4 was not a failure in plan or strategy (at least in the defensive aspect of the ball). What was really painful was the poor performance of the Eagles on Monday night. Although the 76ers gave them one after another open-ended observations in halftime and transitions, Atlanta’s field goal percentage from beyond the three-point line was only 12 of 40 shots. This is an opportunity for the 76ers to steal an away game, and they absolutely wasted it.

Now, they have exposed themselves to any number of unstable results that may occur in the three games. Perhaps Trae Young played a role again for the first time since the first game, helping the Eagles win. Perhaps Embiid’s knees will continue to deteriorate, and the number of days of rest between matches will become less and less, which will affect his health. Maybe the 76ers did not show a heroic performance on the bench like Shake Milton, who helped bridge the gap in the second victory, which may be closer than the final score. When you face a good team, you can play well, but you still lose because of sheer differences, especially when your opponent takes a lot more three-pointers than you.

Philadelphia still has home court advantage at the end of the day. Winning two of the next three games is definitely feasible. If you simulate this series 100 times, this may be the most likely result. But they only have this one, and they can’t afford such a performance anymore. The 76ers chose a terrible time to give up the ropes they have held firmly all season.

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