76ers Suffer Embarrassing Game 5 Loss Against Heat

76ers Heat Basketball
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives up against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 5 to the Heat 120 – 85 in a game where the team lacked energy, and effort was not there. The Sixers as a whole did not play well, with players like Tyrese Maxey, who struggled to score tonight, going 2/10 from the floor. James Harden, we thought, would build from a great game three, contributing four turnovers to the 15 total by the team tonight.

The bench scored only 27 points to the Heat’s 41 bench points, once again being outscored in Miami. There were many issues during last night’s games but none more frustrating than the energy and effort of the team’s star center Joel Embiid who finished the game with 17 points, five rebounds, and two assists in 33 minutes.

Joel Embid, in games three and four in which he, did not have great scoring games but impacted the game in other areas. In-game three, a game in which the 76ers could have taken control of the series going up 3-2 and headed back to Philadelphia for game six, Embiid did not come into the game with the sense of urgency and effort needed to be able to take this win.

It’s clear that this Sixers team goes as Joel goes and feeds off his energy and play, and from the start of the game, it was evident it was not there for the big man. Joel, in games three and four, only scored 18 and 24 points, but the energy and effort that he displayed made an impact where it led his team to back-to-back wins. In Game 5, that energy and effort were needed but were not displayed from the 76ers’ big man.

It’s notable to mention that early in the game, Embiid attempted to save the ball from going out of bounds, but in doing so, he tweaked his backed while diving into the crowd. Then later in the game, while rebounding, he took a shot to the face from Dewanye Dedmon and was down on the ground writhing in pain. These moments, although important to mention, I believe should not have altered the effort given by Embiid. Joel also attempted only seven free throws, alluding to the lack of aggressiveness on the offense tonight.

The Heat did a great job fronting and making sure Joel saw as many bodies as possible, forcing him to play more on the perimeter causing not as many paints touches for Embiid, which caused the offense to stall and the ball movement to stop. There was a lack of pace, and the defense was not up to par. The Heat took advantage, making 13 three-pointers tonight, led by Max Strus, who made four. There was a lack of adjustment from the Philadelphia 76ers’ Head Coach, as well as continuing to come out in the same sets, not adjusting to what the Heat was showing them.

This is one of those games where the Sixers need to just throw the tape out and move onto game 6 in a must-win game to force a Game 7 back in Miami. The 76ers’ defensive effort and energy need to match the Heat in the next game from start to finish if the team wants to have a chance to force a game seven; if not, the Sixers will have their playoffs end in another round two exit.

76ers/Heat Game 6

The 76ers will return to Philadelphia for Game 6 against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat, where they are two-point favorites. Philadelphia must bring it Thursday night as it’s win or go home for the team.

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