A rough start from Philadelphia led to a 128-124 loss at home in game 1 of the Eastern conference semi-finals. The biggest problem? Atlanta shot a scorching 42% from three and 51% from the field as a whole. Not really ideal if you’re the Sixers.
1. Danny Green, It’s Time To Stop
I’m sure all of Philadelphia was yelling at Danny Green on their TVs today. Green not only shot 0-4 from outside the arc (some horrible transition threes btw), he allowed Trae Young to score 19 on him in the first half. No doubt this was Danny’s worst game of the playoffs, maybe as a Sixer.
2. The All-Bench Lineup Has To Stop.
As SOON as the all bench lineup came out, this game got outta hand. I mean, Atlanta went on a 17-0 run! That’s not ideal. But, in the second half Doc Rivers finally staggered Ben and Embiid. Something that people have been begging for. He also had Tobias out there helping the bench in the second half. Going further into the playoffs, this needs to be 9-man rotation. That’s it.
3. Joel Embiid Is Still Incredible
Ladies and gentlemen, MVPIID is still here. All the worry over the knee injury was silenced with a great 39 point performance on 57% shooting. Not to mention going 14-15 from the line. I mean, Clint Capela was in conversations for DPOY this year. Jojo was just bullying Capela and literally got whatever he wanted. He also had some great passes out of the post, and handled the double teams well. You’ve heard all of this before though, we know healthy Joel won’t be stopped by anyone. It’s just about the supporting cast.
4. Ben Simmons Is Also Very, Very Good.
Outside of going 3-10 from the line, Ben did his job today. He caused turnovers, many of them in the clutch like the one with 10 seconds remaining. He had 10 assists and was aggressive early. He even took over the game at one point in the third quarter. Philadelphia did not lose this game because of Ben’s free throw shooting, I wanted to highlight that.
5. We Are Okay.
Philadelphia shot an abysmal 10-29 from three, had 19 turnovers, and was down 20 at halftime. They lost the game by 4 points folks. This team just needs to make a few KEY adjustments, and the series will be over in 6 games. The panic button should stay in everyone’s pockets. Doc Rivers is a good coach who showed the ability to adjust last series and I’m confident he’ll do it again. Just breathe, Philadelphia. The team is good.
Overall, solid game from Philadelphia considering the circumstances. They made a run and almost escaped with a win. Get home, make a couple of adjustments, then back on Tuesday. Good night!