Adam Schein said it best on his show today when he called the 76ers a waste of space. He is 100% correct with his take. I was going to write a reaction to last nights game immediately after, but I felt I should let my emotions die down over the course of a day and see if my thoughts changed at all, they didn't. This team is flat out pathetic. Blowing a 26 point lead like they did last night was one of the worst collapses I've ever seen in sports, right up there with the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, and every single member of the organization is to blame for it. The leads they had at various points in this game...
Great teams don't lose games when they are up like that, hell I'd bet all my money that this years Detroit Pistons would have closed that game out. I give 0 credit to the Hawks here, this has everything to do with the Sixers falling apart and nothing to do with how Atlanta played. I've created a hit list and I'm going to break it down one by one.
There's a reason that poster says armed but not dangerous. 4/14 from the free throw line?!? This guy makes hack a Shaq look like an idiotic gameplan. This makes two playoff games in a row that the Sixers would have won if Ben could shoot at least 50% from the line, but no he has to go on shooting 33% from the line in this series. Are you serious my guy?!? You're a former #1 overall pick, got your max contract, beyond physically gifted, and you simply refuse to learn how to shoot a basketball. If Ben Simmons had any sort of mental toughness or willingness to improve his game he could be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Add a jump shot to his ball handling skills, all pro defense, and passing skills and you have yourself one of the greatest players this game has ever seen. Not to mention all that from a guy who's nearly 7 feet tall. But he will never be any of those things, because he's Charmin soft and would rather be getting turned down by Kardashians off the court rather than working on his game. Devin Booker is with the same Kardashian and he's one of the best shooters in the game, so what's your excuse Ben? I've long been on record saying if Ben never develops a jump shot you will never win anything with him as your #2 player. Daryl Morey should be thrown out on the streets tonight for refusing to swap Ben for James Harden. An absolute clown move. I'd say trade him this offseason, but who the hell would want the guy anymore after watching him this playoffs. If this was a pickup game Ben would be picked last he's that bad. I don't even want to talk about his single shot attempt or no show defense in the second half. Just get rid of him already please.
I hate to do this, especially after what he did to start off the game, but Embiid let this team down when it mattered most. Embiid was put into the game with 10 minutes left in the 4th when the Sixers still had a double-digit lead and he did nothing to hold it. 3-9 in the second half and he missed 2 clutch free throws at the end with the game on the line that would have made it a 1 point game. Looked like Ben at the line. Embiid is one of the best players in the game, but he's not consistent enough over a full game. We've seen it now in the last few games where he's completely fallen off in the 2nd half. I don't know if it's fatigue, his injury, or a mental toughness problem, but he needs to figure it out. Superstars don't let their team blow 26 point leads.
I never understood the hype around Doc. He's a fine coach, but he's underachieved just about his whole career. His only championship is with an absolutely loaded Boston Celtics team sporting prime Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. A team I could have coached to an NBA Championship. That team underachieved in other years. He never made it past the 2nd round in 7 years with the Lob City Clippers, and has absolutely bungled this Hawks series. His teams consistently fall apart in big games and he is at fault for much of it. His refusal to make any defensive adjustments last night was killer, and keeping Ben Simmons in there while he was killing the team at the line in crunch time was pathetic. I understand you want him out there for his defense, but he wasn't playing any defense either. The Hawks were scoring at will down the stretch, led by Trae Young who Ben was supposed to be locking down. If you are getting out-coached by Nate McMillan in the playoffs, then you need to do some serious self-reflecting.
The Rest of the Team:
Seth Curry is a gem. Guy was looking like his brother out there and was the only one scoring in the whole second half, and that's not even an exaggeration. He was literally the only one scoring. 9 made shots to the rest of the teams 3. Sorry let me rephrase that, 9 made shots to Joel Embiid's 3, BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE MADE A SINGLE SHOT IN THE 2nd HALF OF THE GAME! The bench came in on cruise control to start the 4th and got blasted so quickly they were out of the game within 2 minutes. This team has a golden opportunity to get to the Finals and they are blowing it night in and night out. Honestly I don't want to talk about this anymore. Game 6 is Friday night in Atlanta. I pray the Sixers just lose and put us all out of our misery. Knowing them they'll blow Atlanta out in Game 6 to give us all hope again, just to crush us again with a miserable defeat in Game 7 back in Philly. Gotta love Philly sports.