Embarrassed in the Bubble: 76ers get Crushed by Celtics in Game 2
Last night’s blowout was disheartening to say the least. The 76ers were dismantled by the Boston Celtics and lost game two in embarrassing fashion 128-101. The loss itself was miserable, of course, but the problem is much bigger. The loss last night shed a huge light on the 76ers team and organization as a whole.
Before we get into all the details that I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere at this point since they are so blatantly obvious even a casual fan can point them out, let’s take a deep breath.
The Sixers are down 2-0 in a seven game series. Game 3 will be Friday night against the Celtics. Last night reminds me a lot of Game 5 of the Sixers vs Raptors last year. The Sixers lost that game 125-89. Everyone was furious. The Raptors won two straight to take a 3-2 lead in the series. The only difference here is that the Sixers bounced back in Game 6 led by Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons – both of which are not here anymore.
Can the Sixers bounce back after being run off the court by the Celtics? Probably not. However, there is no home and away advantage in the bubble. We have seen the effects of this throughout the first games of the playoffs across the league.
Say whatever you want, but this series is not over. Let’s at least go out fighting and worry about the terrible construction and organizational failures during the offseason.
Speaking of terrible construction and organizational failures….
$289M to Tobias Harris and Al Horford is absolutely inexcusable. Al Horford and Tobias Harris are the two highest paid players on the 76ers roster and simply have not lived up to expectations. The 76ers signed Al Horford at the start of the season. He is a center on a team with a young, all-star center in Joel Embiid. The 76ers signed him, played him out of position, and paid him over $100 million dollars to get in Joel Embiid’s way when they’re on the court together and to play 20+ minutes in the playoffs against his former team while shooting 2-3 from the floor with 4 points and lousy defense.
Tobias Harris, who was arguably the Sixers most consistent player during the shortened regular season, has completely disappeared when the team has needed him most. He has shot 10-30 from the floor in the first two games of the series against the Celtics.
Brett Brown has reached his ceiling. This was an awful season from Brett Brown in the coaching chair. He deserves a lot of blame for the current state of the Sixers. Brett Brown has proven unable to make adjustments during the game. He has lost the locker room. There’s no fight left on this team. We continue to witness other NBA teams develop their young superstars while Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have failed to make significant leaps in their games over the last 3 years.
Last night we watched Brett Brown play Raul Neto early in the game. In return, the Sixers were dismantled and never recovered. We watched the only shining light for the Sixers over the past few weeks, Alec Burks, enter the game for the 1st time in the middle of the second quarter.
We were all confused by the defensive struggles and the wide open perimeter shots for a group of Boston guards that solely rely on perimeter shooting and guard play to win games. We watched an offense sit around as lifeless as I was on the couch watching Joel Embiid do everything possible to keep the score close.
We watch the team as whole, give up, play sloppy defense, and look defeated in GAME TWO of a seven game series.
Elton Brand has made terrible GM decisions that have put the 76ers in purgatory. It wasn’t that long ago that the 76ers were the darlings of the NBA. They were an asset rich team with a young core of two all-stars, destined for NBA Championships. Over the past two years, the Sixers have changed players around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. None have worked. The closest we were was last year with Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick. Both players walked at the end of the season.
The entire organization has bloated this team with big contracts that produced little results. Wrong move after wrong move. Now we’re stuck with a team that has very little options moving forward and a coach who has failed to develop the only two options that are left.
There’s still games left to play. We’ll be here.