The Sixers have been officially swept by the Boston Celtics, making them the first NBA team to officially exit the playoff bubble. With expectations through the roof entering the 2019-20 season, this obviously wasn’t how things were supposed to end. However, it’s hard to not feel a sense of relief following the team’s Game 4 defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
There’s not a whole lot to discuss in terms of how the game went down, it was fairly consistent with how the rest of the series has played out. Joel Embiid was really really good (30pts, 10reb), Al Horford and Tobias Harris underperformed, and the Celtics offense had a field day exposing the big-heavy Sixers defense.
Philly saw some decent contributions from the likes of Shake Milton (14pts) and Alec Burks (13pts), but it was ultimately no match for the elite scoring trio that the Celtics possess. Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown combined for 76 total points, with Walker leading the way via a game-high 32 points, as the veteran PG secured the first playoff series win of his career.
The Sixers were actually within striking distance late into the second half, but a scary injury to Harris essentially halted all momentum. Harris got his legs swept out from under him in mid-air, landed directly on his skull, and laid motionless for a few minutes. Harris thankfully walked off his own power and even returned late in the fourth quarter, as it was reported he luckily only suffered a laceration near his left eye.
Despite Embiid once again putting up impressive numbers in the box score, the Sixers really never had a chance in this one. Brett Brown and company showed some legit fight at times (three technical fouls), but there just seemed to be an overall dread that filled the air. Philly knew their time was up, it was only a matter of time before they were lowered into their grave.
During the closing minutes of the game, as things lulled to a close, NBA analyst and commentator Doris Burke really went in on the Sixers organization and what their problems are. She didn’t hold anything back, and pretty much hit the nail on the head with her diagnosis.
Burke was 100% correct in her assessment, citing that Philadelphia’s issues don’t start and end with their coach, and even extend past their young general manager (Elton Brand). The Sixers organization is dysfunctional from top to bottom, and maybe a renowned NBA spokesperson like Burke openly talking about it on national TV will wake some people up in the team’s front office.
The Sixers will leave the Orlando bubble in the coming days and begin preparing for what is expected to be a busy offseason. Following a disastrous sweep at the hands of a rival, one would expect more than one person will be traded/fired.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire