Joel Embiid and the Sixers fall in double overtime to the Wolves 121-120
It’s still November basketball in the 2021 NBA season, but last night’s loss hurt. After Joel Embiid returned from COVID protocols after a near two weeks of missed basketball, he and the 76ers fell in a double overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves 121-120.
Embiid finished with 42 points, and 14 rebounds. While a frustrating final possession certainly clouds this performance, it was nice to see Joel dominate again. Let’s not lose sight of how incredible his performance was late in this game, he was the only thing saving the Sixers offense.
While I don’t want to overreact to the final shot, I don’t want to overlook it. I love that Embiid is taking over and wants to take the shots at the end of the game, but this is the time where he has to make the right play. Seth Curry, who shoots 49.1% on catch and shoot threes in his career, was standing at the top of the key without anybody within 10 ft of him.
Undoubtedly a tough play, they relied on him the entire night to create his own shot, but that is a play that I would love to see Joel make for a better opportunity to score, and win.
Tobias Harris was quiet in this game, and drawing a lot of attention for his recent performances. The issue I have with tonight’s game is that Harris only found seven shots. Tobi is supposed to be your second option offensively right now, and while he didn’t shoot well tonight I can’t see a scenario where your second priority only takes seven shots in a double overtime game.
Another point of concern was how timid Tyrese Maxey looked late in this game. This was the least comfortable I’ve seen Maxey since the start of the season, but please let’s remember something, Maxey and Embiid have only played 11 games together this season.
Maxey is stepping into a brand new role where most of his progression has been without Joel on the court with him. Some things take time, and I trust that he will continue to improve in that area. He shot poorly from the field (5/15), and turned the ball over four times. This is an outlier in terms of what we’ve seen so far this year, don’t turn it into anything more than that.
This game was drawn out torture, they had ample chaces to secure the win, and Minnesota wouldn’t give in. It’s such a difficult loss just in part to how they lost, they just can’t close out games. I trust that they are better than how they played tonight, but the things that stick out in this game are the perpetual problems that we’ve seen year in and year out.
The Sixers fall to .500 (10-10), but they get a chance to get back on track against the Orlando Magic on Monday night at home.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS