In a game that the Sixers had no business losing, it was far too close for comfort as the Sixers had to stave off what was almost another late collapse.
It was. slow start for the Sixers as they struggled to find their shot against the Detroit Pistons. Despite being 0-3 on the year, the Pistons were allowed to hang around for the entire game. Embiid (who was inexplicably allowed to play though hurt) looked off from the jump. He wasn’t moving well at all and didn’t even leave the hardwood for rebounds.
It was the unlikeliest of heroes who managed to finally get Embiid going. That player wasn’t even a Sixers, it was Iowa legend Luka Garza.
Garza made it a physical matchup which is right in Embiid’s wheelhouse, and it work up the Sixers’ sleeping giant. That and a technical fouls he was assessed that was questionable at best.
Embiid was able to use all of that as motivation and put the team on his back as he has so many times before. The game seemed to get more and more out of reach for the Pistons as they were down by twelve, heading into the fourth quarter.
In true Sixers fashion, however, that lead was simply not meant to be. The team was plagued by one of their famous five-plus minute droughts from the field that lasted a total of six minutes and twenty seconds, stopped only by an Embiid three in the final 14 seconds of the game.
They were able to pull it out in the end, but this game was far more difficult than it should have been. This is just the latest example of the Sixers falling apart late in games, and if it wasn’t against the lowly Detroit Pistons, the Sixers would not have left the Center with a win.
This has to change for the team, and it’s up to Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid to make that change. Embiid certainly had his best game from the season from a statistical standpoint, but he was a part of this most recent collapse. It’s inexcusable from a team that was the top seed in the Eastern Conference last season.