After the Sixers failed their first two games of the series, they got a key player, Joel Embiid, back into the mix, helping them with two home runs to tie the series.
The Sixers were confident they could go to Miami and steal a road win for the first time in the series, but their execution was off.
After losing a Sixers’ 5 blast, Doc Rivers highlighted a lack of fitness and speed as one of the main reasons why they failed on Tuesday.
As Rivers mentioned, he wants to burn the match tape after reviewing it Wednesday morning when the Sixers return to Philadelphia, the head coach revealed the message he wants to send to his team after Game Five.
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“That’s one game – we’ll go ahead,” Rivers said. “You learn from him. Some of the things they did and some of the things we didn’t were obvious to the naked eye.”
At no point during Tuesday’s game did the Sixers seem in sync. As the game kicks off Thursday, Rivers wants to see his team implement the master game plan immediately and stick to it throughout the game.
“We have to establish Joel at the beginning of the game,” Rivers explained. “I thought we walked away from that. This is what we should establish every night and then play from that. I don’t think we did. I thought they denied too where we can’t be denied. We have to own our space. I thought they owned our space all night.”
The Sixers are up against the wall because a loss in Game 6 could end their season forever. However, Rivers doesn’t want to allow one bad loss to kill his team’s confidence. As The Sixers have proven their ability to win and win big at home in this series, he wants The Sixers to learn from Tuesday’s mistakes and come back better in Game 6.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: MustafaHosny Oh God, Amen.
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Joel Embiid reacts to MVP loss: Although he was short on the NBA MVP for the second consecutive season, Philadelphia 76ers player Joel Embiid didn’t have any hard feelings about the results. After Game Five, veteran big man Nikola Jokic congratulated the Denver Nuggets big man by winning the award once more. Click here to read more.