It wasn’t the easiest win, but the Sixers managed to force a Game 7 against the Hawks. Here are the takeaways from last night’s game.
Again, nothing about this game came easy. To the Hawks’ credit, they kept finding a way to stay in the game even though they are clearly the worse team. But why were they able to stay in that game? By taking advantage of the Sixers’ deficiencies, specifically, their lack of energy.
Embiid is Gassed
Joel Embiid has given nothing but 110% during the NBA playoffs. He’s done that on a torn meniscus as well, which, while making his accomplishments more impressive, have also lead to him being utterly exhausted. It is clear that Embiid is not just running out of gas; he’s on empty.
While empty for Embiid looks like a 20 point double-double, it’s clearly not the level he would like to be playing at. Embiid has given everything he has and more this series specifically, and the rest of the team needs to get on his level.
It’s doubtful that we’ll see vintage Joel Embiid on Sunday for Game 7, but Embiid will clearly fight as hard as possible to pull off another MVP performance. It would be much easier for him, though, if the rest of the team (specifically the other stars) pulled their own weight. Thankfully, Tobias Harris bounced back in a big way in Game 6.
Seth Curry is a Philadelphia Treasure
There’s a very short list of Sixers who deserve no criticism, and Seth Curry headlines it. The red-hot sniper has averaged 21.8 points per game during this series against the Hawks and is a major reason the Sixers have a shot at Game 7.
Curry’s shooting has been incredible. Only a Curry could put up these numbers, apparently, and Seth has clearly made the family name proud. On 42 shots, Curry has shot 54.8% from three. That’s seven attempts per game, and he’s still knocking them down at such a high level.
It’s incredibly clear that Seth Curry is not just a part of the team’s present, but he MUST be a part of their future as well.
Tyrese Maxey is the Sixers Future
Speaking of the future, Tyrese Maxey (finally let loose) had himself a game against the Hawks. Playing starters minutes, Maxey stepped up for the team to the tune of 16 points and 7 rebounds. He would’ve had 19 if Dwight Howard hadn’t foolishly tried drawing a foul against Lou Williams.
Doc has clearly been trying to go with the hot-hand between Maxey and Shake Milton, but the question begs, why not both? He wouldn’t even have to run them together, as Maxey has shown he can clearly run with the starters.
There’s a slight chance that Maxey is involved in a drastic offseason move if Daryl Morey feels the need to make a dramatic change this offseason (the Sixers have given him every reason to do so), but the team should hold on to Maxey as best they can because he’s clearly the future at guard for some team. Hopefully, that team continues to be the Sixers.
Ben Simmons is on Borrowed Time With the Sixers
While Tyrese Maxey’s time with the Sixers seems to be just beginning, Ben Simmons seems to be running out. Over the past three games, Simmons has averaged 8.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. Those numbers are very similar to Draymond Green’s regular-season numbers (7/7.1/8.9).
Simmons’ performance has been so far below par that many are already calling for him to be moved this offseason, and it’s hard to defend him at this point. It’s not as though Simmons is displaying incredible effort and is coming up short; it’s that he does not look like he wants to be playing basketball.
Ben Simmons’ time in Philly is clearly winding down. Regardless of how the Sixers finish the playoffs, expect Daryl Morey to a move involving Ben Simmons this offseason.