76ers fold in miserable fashion, lose Game Five by a landslide, 120-85
With TLL conglomerates in the building, the 76ers put on the worst possible performance in Game 5. In what was a borderline must-win game, Philadelphia came out flat and got smothered from start to finish. Their lack of energy and inability to make shots wrapped this one fairly early. Miami’s lead grew to nearly 40 points in the fourth quarter and the Sixers stood idle and they lost by a wide margin, 120-85.
Nobody Showed Up
Somehow, the Sixers have a knack for sleepwalking through some of their most important games of their seasons, with this ranking above their last home game against the Toronto Raptors in the first round.
Not a single player scored more than 20 points for the 76ers, and Joel Embiid was the only one to score more than 15 points. A lackadaisical effort headlined by a terrible shooting performance from the entire team led to a torturous loss.
Joel Embiid Battles Through Pain
Halfway through the second quarter, Embiid took another shot to the face which sent him to the floor writhing in pain. The pain inflicted seemed to stifle his aggressiveness through the remainder of the half which led to the TNT crew to laughably accuse him of being distracted by his MVP loss.
Clearly, Embiid has been a war against his own body throughout the postseason, and the fact that he was not just able to get back up but continue playing is a testament to his toughness. He finished the night with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, leading the 76ers in scoring on a tough night.
Ugly Shooting Performance
Again, Embiid was far from the 76ers problem last night. Eerily similar to the first pair of games in Miami, the Sixers weren’t able to buy a bucket from beyond the arc. As a team they shot a pitiful 28% from three point range, making just 9-of-32 attempts from three point range.
Their inability to space the floor made life difficult for both Embiid and Harden, and it became the main reason for the overall terrible team performance. Philadelphia has turned into an extremely streaky shooting team, and on nights like this where the shots don’t fall, the 76ers never stood a chance.
Lack of Scoring
Philadelphia putting up 85 points in this game was nothing short of a miracle. On top of their lack of shooting, they failed to get to the rim effectively which kept them from getting to the free throw line.
There was no supplementary scoring for Philadelphia, Tyrese Maxey struggled immensely with just 9 points on 2-of-10 shooting and Tobias Harris put up a measly 12 points. The Heat pinpointed Embiid and Harden in their defensive scheme and the others failed to pick up the slack.
The 76ers’ offense lacked aggression and relied too heavily on their perimeter shooting. As we’ve said throughout the Heat series, if one player outside Embiid doesn’t answer the call, it will be extremely difficult to win games.
This was a terrible, ugly loss for the 76ers, and it’s disappointing that they aren’t able to provide consistent effort in massive games when that should be a given. They struggled to establish any sort of rhythm and even worse seemed to fold when things started to go in the Heat’s favor.
Even still, this series is far from over, and Miami is nowhere near the clear. There has to be a change going into Game 6, but this season is everything but over and I still believe in their chances to win this series.
This series returns to Philadelphia after a day off, with a make or break Game 6 looming on Thursday evening with the 76ers season on the line.
Neither team has lost at home yet in the series, and with the 76ers showing their dominance at the Wells Fargo Center there is a chance that there will be a Game 7 back in Miami on Sunday night.
Shoutout to The Liberty Line crew in attendance
I don’t think people realize how the events unfolded for The Liberty Line crew to end up in Miami. On Monday afternoon, Drew Smith and Victor Williams decided to grab a flight Tuesday morning, a hotel, and tickets to the game. From there, they were off to South Beach, bringing three other TLL guys with them as well. Undoubtedly a rough game to attend, but they stuck through it in enemy territory and for that, we thank them.
See you Thursday night.
Mandatory Credit: Hola News