Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

The Philadelphia 76ers are Finished Without Embiid

I know this is not a hot take at all, but the Philadelphia 76ers, without Joel Embiid, are not going to survive long in these playoffs. The talent discrepancy was on full display when the red, white, and blue, Philadelphia team, squared off with the Miami Heat. Both teams went on significant runs throughout the game. The 76ers cut it close to finish the first half and took an early lead at the beginning of the third quarter, but Miami seemed to be the aggressor throughout the night. The Heat parried the early run by the 76ers in the second half and won comfortably by 14 points.

The Philadelphia 76ers are finished without Embiid

Philadelphia’s lack of depth

Here the title of the article comes back into the picture. Without Embiid, this 76ers team lacks urgency. The team looked scattered and unorganized on defense. Embiid’s replacement, DeAndre Jordan, cannot keep up with quicker bigs like Bam Adebayo, and P.J. Tucker, who both stretch the defense. The 76ers just seemed to roll over and embrace the onslaught that the Heat laid on them. In order to have any chance in this series, the 76ers roster needs to show up in a big way on Wednesday, May 4th.

James Harden, as infuriating as he is, gets a pass in this game. He was aggressive despite being draped the entire night by Tucker or Jimmy Butler. His shooting efficiency was low, but he was getting his teammates involved, being the facilitator they need. Outside of him and Tobias Harris (who played extremely well out of nowhere), the rest of the team barely showed up. Tyrese Maxey, Georges Niang, and Danny Green shot a combined 8/28, for a shooting percentage of 28.6%.

Even with Embiid, this roster is not deep, expecting big performances from Green or Jordan is not a winning strategy. They have 29 seasons in the NBA combined, and hundreds of more games tallied during playoff runs. A long playoff run is not in the cards for a team constructed like this. This is what happens when you trade all your depth to be rid of Ben Simmons.

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Doc Rivers

Another victim of the media hammer lately is Doc Rivers. And, most of the time, he deserves it. Let’s step back to Thursday, April 28th. The 76ers dispel all choking rumors by beating the Toronto Raptors by 35 points in a series-clinching Game 6. He is finally off the hook! Doc Rivers closed out a series with no reprecush… spoke too soon. Up by 29 points with around four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Embiid took an inadvertent elbow to the face from Pascal Siakam, and broke his face. I’ll write that again. He broke his face, when they were up by 30! Why was the most injury-prone big man (outside of Anthony Davis) in the game when they are up 30?  With five minutes left on Monday night, Rivers took out all the 76ers starters when they were down 19. Make it make sense, please.

Even if Embiid does come back in Game 3, this is going to be an extremely uphill battle for the City of Brotherly Love. With a roster needing an overhaul, and a coach that doesn’t seem to have a game plan, my guess is Miami closes this out in five or six.

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