3 Notes from Game 5 Embarrassment vs. Hit

(Photo by Michael Reeves/Getty Images)

The Sixers traveled to Miami for the pivotal 5 game Tuesday night. It couldn’t be much worse. The final score was 120-85 in favor of Miami. To quote Doc Rivers: The Heat did everything “harder and better” than the Sixers. People have called these top Philadelphia team winners, and it’s hard to argue after a performance like this. The Sixers’ tendency to fall apart at the big moments is troubling.

Joel Embiid has had multiple injuries, and if you believe the broadcast, sorry for missing out on the Player of the Year award. If you watch the match, it’s easy to sum up Embiid’s struggles as the combination of Miami’s superb defense and his fractured skull, which took an unpleasant blow in the first half.

Meanwhile, very few players appeared in place of Embiid. James Harden started strong but finished on ice cold, while Tobias Harris and Teresa Maxi weren’t good enough. The Sixers’ success rides almost entirely in the starting five. If the stars don’t have it, there’s no one on the bench to pick up the slack.

That’s what we learned from Misery Tuesday Festival.

Sixers-Heat 5 Fast Food: Embiid is not the same

Joel Embiid scored six points in the first half. He looked much better than the gates in the third quarter, but finished the game with just 17 points out of 7 of 12. That’s not enough for the NBA champion and runner-up. The Sixers’ big man clearly doesn’t have his normal stuff at the moment, which makes it even more difficult to compete with Miami’s defense down the road.

Embiid’s mere presence caused a major change to the series in Philadelphia. The case of his offending firm opened up to James Harden and his associates in new ways. However, when the shots are not falling on the road, you need your stars to become stars. Embiid is one of the top five players on earth, but he doesn’t play that way now. And after the match, he delivered what could be summed up as the most heartbreaking quote of the season.

The whole made-up story about his MVP disappointment was frustrating, and hearing some claim that Embiid “played well at home” is only evidence that people haven’t seen Game 3 or 4. Embiid really hasn’t been in MVP form since the Toronto series, and probably won’t be back in MVP form in Game 6. Philadelphia will have to dig deep. It will take a team effort to win the next game, not to mention a game 7 on the road. We’ll see if they have them.

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