76ers offense sputters in second half, drop Game Four 103-100
Last night’s game was frustrating to say the very least. After a fantastic first half against the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers drop Game Four 103-100, tying the series at two apiece. The 76ers sputtered out on offense in the second half, and Joel Embiid had his worst playoff performance of his career. Instead of returning to Philly to close the series out, the 76ers will have to come back to Atlanta once again after Game Five on Wednesday night.
Of course, the 76ers’ defense was tremendous. It was their offense that lost them the game last night. Trae Young finished with 25 points in 26 shots, and the team as a whole was 37% from the field. Atlanta couldn’t get any offense going, but they played great basketball in other aspects. Over the entire game, the Hawks committed just four turnovers while the Sixers had 12. Kevin Huerter was placed into the starting lineup, and as a result, the Hawks bench didn’t make a single field goal until halfway through the third quarter.
The 76ers had a chance to tie the game with time expiring, but Seth Curry couldn’t connect from three.
Joel Hans Embiid, what the hell is going on? After three dominant showings, Joel missed every basket in the second half going 0-12, and finished the night 4/20. The drop-off from Friday to last night was pretty unbelievable, and it didn’t look like his knee was the issue which makes it more confusing. Every shot Joel took was short, and he was noticeably tired throughout the second half. My guess would have to be some sort of illness like what happened against Toronto in 2019. Hopefully, whatever happened, it’ll be cleared up by tomorrow night. But even while his shots weren’t falling, Embiid was able to pull in 21 boards and make his presence felt defensively.
It’s really hard to believe that Joel Embiid won’t return to Philadelphia angry and ready to dominate in front of a sold out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Let’s just pay that will be the case because the Sixers without Embiid showing some life on the offensive end struggle.
For the rest of the 76ers, Ben Simmons was one assist shy of a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. Free throws killed Ben once again, going just 1-5 from the line missing key opportunities. Simmons struggled to stay aggressive in the second half and even admitted that it was a problem postgame.
Tobias Harris led the team in scoring with 20 points. Furkan Korkmaz got his chance to shine after getting the nod to start tonight, and he seized the opportunity. Over 25 minutes, Kork had 10 points and made two of his five three-pointers. The Sixers bench was very inefficient tonight, with Shake and Matisse both shooting 2/7 from the field.
A Bad 76ers Half Dooms Them Yet Again
At the end of the night, it was just a bad performance from the Sixers. There’s no reason to sugarcoat it. Last night was the perfect opportunity to control the series with a commanding 3-1 lead while the Nets and Bucks are tied 2-2. Extra rest for the Sixers is important, especially with the status of Embiid’s knee still in question. At the same time, the Hawks still managed to win by just three points at home. While splitting their trip to Atlanta, it’s hard to think anything else but the Sixers bouncing back at home on Wednesday.
The Sixers seemed very upset last night tonight, so hopefully, they’ll respond correctly. Get back to Philly and make sure Embiid rests up and gets himself right so we can stop breathing life into a mediocre Hawks team.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports