Sixers Advance to Round 2 without Embiid
Sixers win 4 games to 1 for the round 1 playoff series against the Wizards. 76ers will face Atlanta Hawks in round 2. Ultimately, this win must have felt amazing for the players because it was at home in front of 15,523 fans and it was without Embiid.
76ers Adapt Without Embiid
The Sixers were balanced both on defense and offense. They had six double-figure scorers while shooting 51.2% from the field.
Given their last performance without Embiid, the sixers had to rethink their strategy. Consequently, the Sixers made some adjustments to switxh their strategy to small ball. As a result, Ben Simmons started at center. Simmons got a triple double. 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Curry played point guard scoring 30 points, making 3 of 6 3-point attempts.
Ben- “I’m going to need 30 from you [Curry]”
NOOOO NOT SETH CURRY DROPPING HACHIMURA 😱😭 pic.twitter.com/XrybTjuTwW— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 3, 2021
Curry recalled a conversation with Simmons that he kept with him during the game.
“[Ben] told me, ‘I’m going to need 30 from you, and I’m going to get a triple-double so we can close it out. And we’re going to be able to get it done.’”
Winning without Embiid
"We know we've got enough without Joel to win a few games. We got to have that confidence and believe. Joel has been huge for us all year. It's only right for us to give him as much time as he needs to get back and help us win it all”— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 3, 2021
-Seth Curry on winning without Joel Embiid pic.twitter.com/H3lnWL1222
Harris on Team Mentality and focus
Tobias Harris remarked on the progress and focus of the team.
“I think everybody came in with a great mentality, a great focus from the start of the day all the way through the game,”
Harris continued giving more details on their success. Furthermore, knowing they wouldn’t have Embiid and thinking of what held them back in the last game, they refocused and came together a better team on the other end.
“We held our composure all night. Early on the game, there were a lot of back-and-forth buckets. We just stuck with what we knew best, and just rode that wave the whole night.”
Fortunately, the 76ers were cohesive, one team and focused on what they each had to accomplish. Harris pointed out it was a collective effort not any one person and that’s why the sixers have had such great success. One positive, Egos do not get in the way here, they play as a team supporting each other.
“So truth be told, that was a whole collective group effort there. Everybody played a part of that, and that’s a great win for us.”
One Trick Pony, fouling tactic does not work on Simmons
Wizards tried the tactic that worked in the last game by intentionally fouling Simmons. This time, it was not effective. Successfully, Simmons split a pair of free throws at the first free throw which got the Sixers within three points. Convinced it was a fluke, Washington intentionally fouled him again on Philly’s next possession. This time, Simmons sank both foul shots.
As a result, of Simmons increased performance on free throws, the deficit went to 51-49. Simmons did what was asked of him and it benefitted his team. The sixers pulled ahead with a final score of 129-112.
15,523 fans, “Trust the Process.”
Fans chanted, “Trust the process,” and “We want Brooklyn.” Well, they won’t get Brooklyn as the Knicks fell to Atlanta 89-103. But, the philadelphia 76ers will advance to Round 2 facing the Atlanta Hawks. It looks promising that the team was able to adjust and turn weaknesses into strengths. Here’s hoping they handle the Hawks the same way they took care of the Wizards.