Sixers Playoff Run Over, Fall to Celtics 4-1
It was a difficult night to say the least. Ideally, it would have taken a perfect game to get it back to Philly and the Wells Fargo, but even with all that, it remained a possibility. Playoff loses are difficult. A hard fought game, a tough loss, more questionable coaching, and yet still had a chance to win it. There is so much to analyze after this game and this series, so I will spend some time looking at each of these points.
He in this series, was lets be fair, awful. Reality shows that the, numbers speak for themselves. At one time, he was this teams best option, but that was also when they were a bad team. The old saying goes, never put to much value of the best player on a bad team. Looking at the numbers, over the 5 game series, lets look first at the offense numbers
–Game 1: 0-6 FG (0-4 3PT), 3PTS, 27 minutes -13
–Game 2: 8-15 FG (4-7 3PT) 22 points, 40 minues +4
–Game 3: 0-8 FG (0-5 3PT) 1 point, 25 minutes -12
–Game 4: 1-7 FG (1-5 3PT) 3 points, 19 minutes -3
–Game 5: 2-5 FG (1-3 3PT) 5 points, 21 minutes -7
Take away game 2, and RoCo made 3 shots from the field the entire series. His net while on the court was a -31. You would think that he would at least be able to provide defense, as he has been called an elite defender time and time again, but he was getting roasted, by the athletic Celtics wings all series. Here are some examples:
Robert Covington was guarding Jayson Tatum and starting dancing to Pop, Lock it, Drop it. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/oJ0pal7vU2
— Celtics Network™ (@celticsnetwork) May 10, 2018
And this⬇️😡 pic.twitter.com/nFATaBZ6nd
— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) May 5, 2018
Is that All NBA Defense Robert Covington? Can't be pic.twitter.com/QXG7vLOK5g
— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) May 4, 2018
The 3 Point Shot..
Noteworthy in this series, was the lack of th 3 point shot, credit the athleticism of the Celtics, and a good defensive game plan by Brad Stevens to get out and defend the perimeter. Lets look at those numbers from the series.
–Game 1: 5-26 (19%)
–Game 2: 13-33 (39%)
–Game 3: 9-30 (30%)
–Game 4: 7-26 (27%)
–Game 5: 8-21 (38%)
Thats 42-136 for the series or just around 31 percent. Below the the almost 34 percent they shot in the regular season. Also Joel, Ersyan, and RoCo, had awful deep ball percentages, throughout the entire 10 game playoff run.
Worst 3-point shooting in a postseason in 76ers history [min. 25 attempts]
.167 Lou Williams, 2012 [8-48]
.250 Jumaine Jones, 2001 [8-32]
.276 Joel Embiid, 2018 [8-29]
.283 Allen Iverson, 1999 [15-53]
.290 E. Ilyasova, 2018 [9-31]
.313 Robert Covington, 2018 [15-48]@bball_ref
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) May 10, 2018
**JJ Redick needed to hit that 3 to put the team up 5 late in the game, he is making 23 million a year, he was open, and he was short. Ultimately, it hurt so much!
Joel Embid and Ben Simmons
They both need to grow. Ben Simmons for one is not going to be seen as a threat in this league, even with the generational skill set, until he at least shows, he is going to shoot the jumper. Again, give Boston credit, they literally laid back on him, making him take it to the rim, and cut off his passing lanes, taking away space once he got below the foul line. It was well designed, and was executed even better, they have the length and speed on defense to be able to run this style of defense. The threat of a pull up mid range jumper changes this entire series. As a result, the young rookie struggled and at points, looked over matched.
Joel Embiid, he has to finish that shot late in the low post. While I understand, its a difficult shot, he has position, and needs to hit it, in that spot. I can give some excuse for his woes in the playoffs to the mask, but I also think lack of experience in big game situations, hurt the team as a whole. Take a look at these numbers from the series. This shows the growth that both have to do.
The 76ers had a +/- of -63 when Ben Simmons on the court this series, and +48 when he was on the bench.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2018
Joel Embiid went 0-8 on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final minute this season, including going 0-2 in Game 5
His 8 such attempts are tied for the most by any player without a made FG under those circumstances.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2018
Again, both players need to grown and will. Ben tried to make to much happen, when there was not anything to make happen, and without a jump shot threat, it led to turnovers and bad plays. Embiid again showed us signs of greatness in this series, he always does. He is going to need to learn that the playoffs is a different brand of basketball. It is more physical, more close games, and better defensive teams and schemes. More importantly in a best of 7 playoff series, the other side is going to be familiar with what you do well and what you do not.
For the record, the outlook going forward for this team, remains extremely high. Respectfully, the over delivered, the team won 52 games in the regular season, and won a playoff round. There are holes on this roster that need to be filled, primarily the addition of play makers who can create their own shots at the wing position. In conclusion, we will touch on that tomorrow as I am developing my third and final installment of a 3 part series regarding the team. If you missed it, Part I is here and the second part is here.