Welcome to Brick City
The Sixers had a rough night yesterday, and no players scored more than 20 points on the night. Joel Embiid (17pts.) led the team in scoring yet again, trying to carry the team to victory. However, Embiid was unsuccessful, and the Sixers fell 85 - 120, sustaining a 35 point defeat, going into game 6 in Philly on the verge of elimination.
During the game, the Sixers shot an abyssmal 28% from the field from 3 (9/32), and managed to perform on just barely over 36% during the game from the field (31/85). The sixers go back to Philly to play the Heat tomorrow night.
The Sixers, although racking up 2 more offensive boards than the Heat, had 10 less overall boards than the Heat. If they want to win the series, the team is going to have to pick up the pace on the boards. Not only is Boards, a problem, the sixers were outscored by 20 points (36-56) on in the paint points, which is embarrassing, as the team is one of the most defensively limiting teams in the NBA.
The Sixers, once again, are back home for game 6, down 3 games to 2 in the series. Although Kyle Lowry is still questionable for another night, the Sixers are going to have to lock down on Jimmy Butler, who's averaging 26.6 ppg against the Sixers this series, which is less than Tobias Harris and Danny Green's overall series points per game this series, combined (25.6 ppg).
MVP Snub (again)
This season, Joel Embiid led the league in scoring, the first time a big man has led the league in that category since Dominique Wilkins won it in the 1985-86 season, almost 40 years ago.
To put butter on the bread, Embiid led the league in 30 ppg performances this season, with 40, and 40ppg performances with a menacing 13, which meant that in over half of his season games, he's averaged over 30ppg, and in some cases over 40. Embiid, although maybe not as pure a playmaker as Jokic. Jokic averaged 27pts, 14rbs, and 8 asts over the regular season, whereas Embiid averaged 31pts, 12rbs, and 4asts over the regular season. Although, statistically, Jokic might look better, the numbers are what really do the work. Embiid single-handedly had to carry a Ben Simmons-less sixers squad with none other than Tyrese Maxey, Seth Curry, and Tobias Harris, for most of the season. When the Sixers finally brought in Harden, most of the season was already over. The Sixers had a solid record till that point, primarily because of Embiid's dominant back-to-back-to-back performances almost nightly, no matter what the defense did to try to guard the man. Embiid carried a team that needed help, and brought them into and past the first round, whereas Jokic couldn't escape the 1st round. Sure, maybe Jokic (towards the end of the season and into the postseason) didn't have as much talent around him, but Jokic has much more depth on his bench than in Philly, which gives him more time to rest and sit on the bench, whereas Embiid has been playing 34 minutes each game, Jokic plays the same amount, but the numbers do the talking.
This is what Embiid had to say about the results of the MVP Race and his 2nd place finish:
"Obviously I’m not a specialist. I’m just listening to the doctors. I don’t think so, so it’s just about pain tolerance. This is a lose-lose situation for me. If I don’t play, I’ll probably get called soft. If I play and I play bad, probably come up with a bunch of stuff … ‘I guess he’s just not good enough. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, Joel Embiid's 'lose-lose' situation, Nick Levick)
Embiid is a dominant center, the best center in the league, atleast scoring wise. I'll give the title to Jokic for being more of a playmaker, but thats because the ball is almost always in Embiid's hands, whereas the Nuggets heavily rely on outside forces and their shooting core, which has much more depth than the Sixers, made up of Danny Green and James Harden.
Thank you for tuning in. It was very frustrating, watching the game last night. The Sixers looked to be struggling in every aspect on the floor.