only 10 minutes in a half for Embiid is ridiculous. I don’t care how much foul trouble he’s in.— Mike Chiodo (@mhc_76) May 23, 2021
The Sixers defeated the Washington Wizards to take a one-game lead over the 8th seeded group. But it just wasn’t really... super comfy, was it?
It’s almost as if we’ve been making up excuses for this team since the All-Star Break. They’re the one seed, shut up. They’re playing down to their competition, shut up. They’re awesome, shut up. OK, that’s all fair. BUT, also... it’s maybe worrisome? If the Sixers want to win the NBA championship, today’s performance isn’t ridiculously encouraging.
The Wiz? They’re legit! They finished the shortened season on a big run before Bradley Beal tweaked a hammy a couple of weeks ago. If they were to face the Knicks or the Hawks for the right to advance beyond the first round, that would be an absolutely lit series!
But it would be fair to say the Sixers, who recently earned 9 days off, showed up a little bit lax today, right?
Tobias Harris saved your afternoon. The Long Island native dropped 37 points on 29 shots, 2/5 from 3 and 5/5 from the line. Doc Rivers and Co. appeared in more trouble than they bargained for, but Tobi showed up and delivered.
He had his season-high in the biggest game of the season. Read the last sentence back again if you’d like. If anyone wants to check in on his pulse or temperature, they’re welcome, perhaps we can get a case study of “I feel almost no pressure players” going here. Harris being crazy clutch is a massive development for this team’s title odds.
Joel Embiid picked up a few (questionable) fouls early and had to rest. Rivers went with Dwight Howard for those minutes.
Embiid finished with 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 dimes, with 5 turnovers but 12-13 from the stripe. His foul trouble was a recurring issue, and when he went to the bench after picking up some foul trouble, the Wiz not only knotted it up but also took a lead, and changed the feel of the contest. Embiid’s ability to hit all and high-pressured free throws continues to be one of the biggest deals of the year.
It’s not super crazy to think the Sixers may have needed a tune-up game, following their layoff. But the fact that they can dust their rust off and still get a win is beyond comforting.
Seth Curry gave us a little bit of a scare, dropping to the wood after a shot to the gut but he continued and helped the team.
If the Sixers can continue to pour it on, then we fans will be permitted to glance around freely towards the other games being played here or there.