Real-time observation: Sixers’ tough win forces Game 7 against the Eagles
The 76ers got a strong push from Tyrese Maxey on the bench. In another big Sescuri game, the 76ers won 104-99 away, forcing the seventh game in Philadelphia on Friday night.
This is what I saw.
• After the last game, I asked readers what they think Seth Curry is the most important player in this series. At this point, besides him, is there anyone else who can argue? For most of this series, he definitely led Philadelphia on the offensive end, while Embiid struggled to find range in Friday night’s game against Atlanta. Curry was their main choice for the sixth game.
He did so well in this role that their point guard did almost nothing except pass the ball through the half and wait for Curry to leave the screen. This is not a bad strategy-Curry was almost unguarded in the third quarter, covering his face with his hands, standing still, moving, and shooting in any way imaginable.There is no good way to protect him, because if you turn off and also It’s difficult. Curry is very comfortable dribbling the ball once or twice within the three-point line and making a jump shot.
I know, I know, the second year is not exactly the favorite of Daryl Morey or many of the analyst-friendly people in the league today. But sometimes this is a key shot in the playoffs, and a high-level player ensures that the pressure relief valve works hard at these exact moments. The 76ers don’t have many mid-range assassins, but Curry’s shooting ability is a big help at this time of the year.
The exchange of Josh Richardson for Curry (his team-friendly agreement in the next few years) is arguably the best move of the Darryl Morey era so far. Except for a period of time after the COVID, Curry struggled to find his lungs and legs while recovering from the disease, and he has been in a downturn on offense. When you shoot so well, you can forgive any defensive deficiencies that come with it.
• Play the game by yourself, Tyrese Maxy. The 76ers were in trouble and desperately needed some juice from the bench. Philadelphia’s 20-year-old rookie stepped on the floor and completely punished Atlanta’s micro backcourt. On a night when many others were afraid to start the game, Maxi seemed too young to even understand the stakes. It’s time for him to come forward.
From the beginning of the regular season to this moment, Maxi has acted as confident as a child. He is very clear about the work he is doing behind the scenes. He always plays at his own pace-that is, quite fast-and does not allow the defense to decide where he wants to go. For some reason, the Eagles seemed to believe they didn’t need to invest resources to stop him from going downhill, so he punished them, rushed to the rim and made some difficult layups in traffic.
As the game progressed, Maxi’s confidence has been growing, so much so that he called his number early in the fourth quarter for some deep-draw three-pointers. One of the off-ball fouls that Dwight Howard entangled was erased from the board, but we won’t let this complicate our evaluation of the young Maxy. He is fearless, but he combines it with actual production. Many young people can come in and play stupid, free-flowing basketball. Maxi showed his composure as a starter, and maybe it’s much more than that.
(To put it simply, Maxey was much tougher on the defensive end, where he was forced to defend Trae Young because he was in the warm-up game. But he did play very hard, allowing Young to throw some tough base runners and Retreat step jumper, this is what you can ask of a defender of this level.)
If Philadelphia did not take any other measures in this series and playoffs, they would be satisfied with the rookie showing the feeling he built for this stage.
• Tobias Harris fouled twice in the first four minutes of the game and it looked like he was about to participate in another disastrous game, winning a seat next to Rivers on the sidelines. But over time, he managed to settle down and adapt, perhaps because once they didn’t have both a low center and a non-shooting point guard on the court at the same time, the court opened up a bit for him.
After basically disappearing in Game 5 on Wednesday, Harris is determined to make sure that if this is Philadelphia’s last game of the season, he will waver. His mid-range shooting did not drop, but Harris was part of the Philadelphia team’s strong push in the first half. He went to the basket and completed with both hands, even if there was no whistle.
There are a few rebounds in shooting, this game is different, at least you can give Harris his props, because he is willing to live and die on his terms.
• If it weren’t for Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia’s deficit in the first quarter could quickly swell to 15-20 points. The 76ers’ starter was definitely a mess at the beginning. When Saebel was forced to play because of Tobias Harris’ foul trouble, he at least provided some defensive toughness to get them through.
In fact, he was particularly active in saving Joel Embiid, recovering two different Embiid errors in the first quarter with an excellent transitional defense. Coupled with a block he picked up during a flight of Clint Capela (Clint Capela) at the basket, he started off defensively very well, which is not a good thing for those who have been following him for the past two years. Not surprisingly.
I don’t know why Rivers didn’t look for him more throughout the game, especially considering that their offense was already very cruel.
• On Sunday night, we will have the 76ers vs. Eagles Game 7 at home. This is why they are fighting for home advantage. Pause or close time.
• Regardless of whether you think they are capable of winning a championship, this is a significant game for the three core players on the Philadelphia roster. Except for the 7th game against Toronto two years ago, this was the greatest game ever played by Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons. And at least two people played in the worst possible way, as if they realized it.
Considering the knee problem and his performance in the playoffs, Joel Embiid might have had a bad night out more “justified” than anyone else. But this does not allow him to hand over an old car with his back against the wall in the most important race of the season. Embiid’s face-to-face game didn’t work, and to make matters worse, he accepted some absolutely absurd shots, including a step back on the three-point line with almost no iron.
He just didn’t show up for nothing in the offense. Embiid worked hard to establish a position against guys like Danilo Gallinari, and every time he was lucky enough to draw that game, he should put Gallinari in a body bag. Philadelphia’s lack of free throws, and some people blame it on the offending referee, stems from Embiid’s decision to spend a lot of time shooting one jumper after another. I’m not the one, “Put your ass in the post!” Guy, but in one night, the officials were bragging about all kinds of pointed fouls. Embiid needed to impose more on Scott Foster and the gang. The pressure to blow the whistle.
When he deserved it, we gave him a lot of defensive credits in this series, and I think he eventually became a man who had a greater impact on Treyang and the Hawks’ offense than Simmons. This means that when Yang starts to roll, he is responsible, and he is absolutely full of fire in the first half on Friday night. Embiid kept moving closer to the basket, allowing young shooters and base runners to give in. Once he started from mid-range, their chances of stopping him were basically over. Embiid didn’t know when to play high and when to sink to Capela. Even though Embiid dropped, Young pitched at Clint Capela and his team throughout the first half.
Embiid’s performance in the second half is definitely better, especially in defense, he played some outstanding performances at the basket to stop the Eagles shooting attempts. He also made up for his inefficiency by savagely attacking the Eagles on offensive rebounds, grabbing seven offensive rebounds and scoring quite a few on these appearances. You can say more about the next person, but this does not set the standard too high.
• But if you are looking for the most annoying performance of a star player, can you find other places besides Ben Simmons? He has been cheering all year for wanting to be (and thinking he is) the defensive player of the year. He has been telling us for years that he will be ready to shoot at the beginning of the season. Four years ago, he said that hacker attacks will not last long and will not affect him. After sluggish in the 4th and 5th games, his important statement was to play the worse version of those games, and did not even provide a strong first half to make up for the final second half tortoise.
Maybe Rivers was right to let Simmons take on fewer tasks earlier this season, because Simmons committed some silly fouls while trying to chase Tre Young in the game on Friday night. Hell, his third foul before halftime was one of the most meaningless games you’ve seen, a pretended forcing 94 feet from the basket, and Clint Capela rewarded him by beautifying contact. Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.
Simmons scored -15 in the first half, which is an impressive feat considering he only played 9 minutes due to a foul. When you say, “He tried at least five times!” It feels like some kind of victory, and you are in an absolutely crazy cartoon land.
If you can watch Tyrese Maxey’s game and still forgive Simmons’ madness on the court, I don’t know what to tell you. A 20-year-old rookie checked the game for him in the first quarter and looked like one of the best and most experienced players on the court. He put pressure on the basket, shot himself, and forced the Eagles to show a high post in the pick-and-roll to take the ball from his hands, thereby providing good shooting opportunities for other players on the court. This is what point guards do.
At this point, what else do people need to see? Rivers may come out of retirement and complete 90% of the offense that Simmons did as a player and coach on Friday night. He throws the ball off, then hovering in possession for no purpose or plan, even if he does find himself in a favorable position, he has not taken any measures to take advantage of them now.
It was difficult to follow up the last two games with a worse performance, but he did. Rivers had to take him off the bench for a long time in the fourth quarter to avoid extending the free throw time. In fact, this is not the worst part-Rivers had to use their last timeout to assign their maximum contract point guard so that he would not be sent off the court.
Cruel viewing, cruel thinking.
• Doc Rivers stared at a brutal series (and season) from his bench, saw his team collapse in an amazing way, and decided to make hardly any changes on Friday night. I’m just in awe of this boldness. Look, I think he is right to do this!
• When George Hill made a big kill in the first quarter three-pointer transition and decided to slowly circle the dribble until everyone else stood up, I would immediately pull him out of the game. If he is not going to shoot open threes, and he is not asked to create, then there is no point in putting him on the court. Send a message and let out whoever is at least willing to try.
• The 76ers didn’t do much to get free throws on Friday night, but the referee in this game was definitely a crime. Embiid was convicted of a foul for being choked by John Collins, 76ers players were crushed without blowing a whistle, and Tre Young used the same scam to suck the officials in. We should say Problematic penalties.
I don’t make conspiracy theories. I tend to treat “bad referees” as a general rule, but if the league wants to make Tre Young a star, then pushing the series in the direction of Atlanta won’t be the craziest thing in the world.
• The damn light goes out, and there are two minutes left for a life-and-death game. You can’t make up these things.
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