What an opportunity for the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers men's professional basketball team last night. After winning 2 straight games to even the series at 2-games a piece, the Sixers had all the momentum heading back to Miami. You steal a win on the road like that and this one is as good as over. Embiid back in the lineup. James Harden coming off of a vintage James Harden performance. Tyrese Maxey bringing wings on the plane down to South Beach. The Sixers had everything working in their favor to head into FTX Arena and take control of this series.
Aaaaaaand then we remembered that this team is just a collection of a bunch of losers who refuse to rise to the occasion and simply forget how to play the sport of basketball when the moment gets too big for them.
Biggest game of the season and you get a piss poor effort from start to finish. That's the Philadelphia 76ers we all know and hate to love. Getting shit kicked in the 1st and 4th quarters. 15 turnovers. Can't get a stop to save their life. Can't get a shot to drop to save their life. All just signs of a team who can't show up when they need to the most.
Sure, games 3 and 4 were great. But that was when their backs were against the wall and they were at home. Obviously they were going to show some fight then. But when they have a chance to go in for the kill? A chance to either keep their foot on Miami's throat or take that foot off the gas? I'm not sure why anybody would be shocked this team thought they'd just go into cruise control. It's been their M.O. for 20 years now.
I actually think this stat is wrong. I'm pretty sure the Sixers have lost their last SIX game 5's when the series is tied 2-2. (1) Conference semifinals vs Detroit in 2003. (2) First round against Detroit in 2008. (3) First round against Orlando in 2009. (4) Conference semifinals against Boston in 2012. (5) Conference semifinals vs Toronto in 2019. (6) Conference semifinals against Atlanta last year.
And now you can go ahead and make that seven straight game 5 losses when the series is tied 2-2. So maybe it's not a Joel Embiid thing. Maybe it's not a James Harden thing. Maybe it's not a Ben Simmons thing. Maybe this organization just stinks. Maybe this organization is just afraid of the moment. Maybe this organization lacks that dog within them to show up to a crucial game 5 and change the narrative.
PLAY THE SONG!