76ers eliminated in embarrassing fashion, 103-96
The entire city of Philadelphia is at a loss for words right now. In front of their home crowd with a prime opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Philadelphia 76ers lost 103-96 to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs.
There is plenty of blame to go around. Of course, the most polarizing, and rightfully so, was Ben Simmons. Simmons finished the night with just five points but was able to dish out 13 assists. Late in the fourth, Ben passed up a wide-open dunk opportunity that left many scratching their heads as to why.
Simmons was stagnant on offense throughout the night and very clearly was hesitant to do anything with the basketball. Despite his issues on offense, Ben was a primary reason Trae Young struggled so much, but regardless it doesn’t excuse his offensive performance.
As much as I’d like to pin the blame entirely on Ben, this wasn’t all on him. Tobias Harris couldn’t make a layup and finished the night 8/24 from the field. Looking at the 76ers’ bench, they were 5/15, providing just 15 points compared to Atlanta’s 24. In addition, the Sixers committed seven more turnovers and five more fouls while given a golden opportunity when Trae Young was 5/23 from the floor and missing nine from beyond the arc.
Joel Embiid played his heart out this series. Even with a partially torn Meniscus, Joel had 31 points and averaged over 30 the entire series while not at full health. It is sickening to see the remainder of the 76ers roster play like this alongside Joel when it matters most.
Atlanta was led by Kevin Huerter, who had 27 points on 55% shooting, stepping up when needed most. Danillo Gallinari had 17 points off the bench alongside several clutch threes and a game-sealing steal on Joel Embiid.
The Hawks will advance to face the Milwaukee Bucks while the 76ers are pondering what’s next. Between Doc and Joel’s comments, it seems likely Ben Simmons will be on his way out while it’s unclear who and what else will be changing.
Welcome to the offseason.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports