after winning back-to-back games at their home stadium to even this series at 2-2, the philadelphia 76ers seemed to own all the momentum in this eastern conference semifinal series over the miami heat.
However, in Game 5, the Heat quickly reminded everyone that they are the top seed in the East for a reason, as they defeated the 76ers 120-85 on Tuesday night.
The only time the 76ers took the lead in this game was after Joel Embiid made the first basket of the game. From that point on, this game was controlled and heat locked due to the contributions they received from everyone not named Jimmy Butler.
in the last two games in philadelphia, butler combined to score 73 points, but the rest of the team really struggled to get involved on the offensive end of the floor.
tuesday night butler finished with a game-high 23 points but max strus came up with 19 points, gabe vincent had 15 points, victor oladipo had 13 points off the bench and the list of contributions goes on and on for them.
miami had seven different players score at least 10 points in game 5 and their five starters combined to score 79 points in this one.
as for philadelphia, joel embiid and james harden were powerless all night and the sixers as a whole just didn’t seem ready to play.
now that they have their back against the wall, the 76ers face the tough challenge of having to win game 6 on thursday to even this series and then go on the road and win in miami, something they haven’t done in the postseason
Looking back at what happened in game 5, here are the three most important takeaways from this game.
physical & mental fatigue is catching up with joel embiid
in games 3 and 4 of this series, joel embiid didn’t play up to the standards we’re used to seeing, but he made his presence felt and was obviously upset about both his orbital fracture and his thumb injury .
However, on Tuesday night, Embiid had no sense of the urgency of his game and after diving into the stands at the baseline to try to save a fumble, the star center seemed sluggish the rest of the game. game and seemed to be bothered by a handful of ailments.
Injury wise, Embiid is seriously injured right now and the fact that he’s playing in this series is a testament to his toughness and willingness to compete.
However, Joel Embiid doesn’t seem mentally ready to play and the 76ers as a whole feed off his energy in each and every game.
When Embiid is playing well, the 76ers are usually playing well. when he’s not knocking down shots and not pushing, they’re not hitting anything and the Philadelphia effort as a whole just isn’t there right now.
joel embiid is the leader of the 76ers and with both physical and mental exhaustion due to injuries, plus the fact that he wasn’t the most valuable player this year, it really seems like he has nothing left in the tank, which is bad news for the sixers.
The Heat has more depth and more energy than the 76ers right now, which is a key reason they’ll likely take this series.
home issues in the playoffs
There’s a saying in the NBA that “no playoff series starts until a team wins on the road,” and as we’re looking at this season, this is absolutely true.
The home court matters a lot more than many people think, and for some strange reason, role players tend to play better in front of their fans.
In this series, neither team has lost at home and while the Heat have struggled in their two games in Philadelphia, their bench and second unit have looked like the best in the league in Miami.
look at game 5, for example.
max strus, gabe vincent, victor oladipo and p.j. Tucker combined to score 57 of the series’ 120 total points, giving them a massive lead throughout the game.
In games 3 and 4, these four players combined to average 24.5 points per game. It’s no coincidence that these types of players have taken the court and this is a trend we’ve seen throughout the NBA playoffs this year.
miami heat is a perfect example of why playing on your home court matters in the playoffs and even if they lose on the road in game 6 to the 76ers they will have the upper hand in this series heading into game 7 simply because they have the home court advantage.
the defense will win this series
Scoring in basketball is great and we’ve seen offense flourish during the regular season, but the one constant that remains in the nba is that defense is important, especially in the playoffs.
the philadelphia 76ers are an excellent defensive team, as is the miami heat. both teams have played great defense at home in this series and the team that digs deeper on that end of the floor will win game 6 and possibly this series.
All five games of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series have been decided by defensive effort, and while both offenses can get going, these two teams have built their identity all year on the defensive end of the basketball court.
In game 5, the Heat scored 120 points, which is great, but what’s even better is the fact that they limited the 76ers to just 85 points. Looking back on Philadelphia’s 20-point win in Game 3, they held the Heat to just 79 points overall.
getting defensive stops and being able to dictate the pace of the game ends up resulting in points on the offensive end of the floor, so whoever plays the most effort and intensity on defense in game 6 will win the game and for the heat They could possibly advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
nba basketball related stories
- here is what jimmy butler had to say after game 5: jimmy butler met with the media after the miami heat beat the philadelphia 76ers in game 5. click here.
- this is what joel embiid had to say about not winning mvp this season :Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was a finalist for this year’s Most Valuable Player Award, which was reportedly won by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. This is what Embiid had to say about not winning the award. click here.