Recreation 4 in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets is a recreation that will usually be a disappointing loss for the “Belief the Course of” period Philadelphia 76ers. The chance to shut out a first-round sequence in opposition to an inferior crew, together with a Joel Embiid damage to navigate.
In 2021, the consequence was a Recreation 4 loss to the Washington Wizards when up 3-0 as the highest seed within the Japanese Convention — Philly went on to shut out the sequence in 5 video games. Final season they had been up 3-0 in opposition to the Toronto Raptors. The 76ers misplaced two in a row earlier than defeating the Raptors in six video games.
There’s no ‘I’ in crew
Embiid suffered a knee damage throughout Recreation 4 of Wizards sequence, and performed by way of a torn thumb in his taking pictures hand in opposition to the Raptors. He limped by way of the 76ers’ Recreation 3 win in opposition to the Nets on Thursday, going 5-13 for 14 factors. On Sunday, the 76ers closed the sequence without their MVP candidate. They defeated the Nets 96-88. It was the 76ers first best-of-seven sequence sweep since 1985, and they’re the primary crew within the 2022 NBA Playoffs to advance to Spherical 2.
Harris led the cost for the 76ers with Embiid out of the lineup with a knee damage. He tried 19 pictures and scored 25 factors. Nevertheless, it was the 76ers’ protection that allowed them to run away with the sport within the fourth quarter.
Mikal Bridges hit a bounce shot with 8:55 remaining within the recreation. The Nets didn’t make one other subject purpose till the 4:28 mark, and had been profitable on solely 4 extra makes an attempt. One was Nic Claxton alley-oop, and the opposite three had been bounce pictures with 76ers up by double digits with lower than one minute remaining within the recreation.
Getting the job executed
The 76ers solely actually dominated the Nets in Recreation 1, profitable 121-101. It took some scorching fourth-quarter taking pictures from Tyrese Maxey for the 76ers to each draw back in Recreation 2, and escape with a victory in Recreation 3. That 76ers’ protection although, the Nets broke 100 factors solely as soon as within the sequence.
It was unlikely for the 76ers to crumble and endure one of many worst upsets in franchise historical past, however for this crew to tug out the franchise’s first sweep in 38 years — as a No. 3 seed — a breakthrough has lastly taken place.
The Nets had been removed from one of many league’s most gifted groups, however they aren’t a lot totally different than the Raptors in 2022 or the Wizards in 2021. With all the Nets’ wing depth, this sequence had all of the makings of a contender in boxing getting flustered by a clumsy southpaw.
Offense was at instances tough to return by for the 76ers, however they obtained baskets once they wanted them probably the most. Maxey has confirmed in his third season that he’s prepared for prime time, and with Harris because the 76ers’ fourth possibility, they’ve one of many deepest lineups within the east.
When will Embiid return?
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reported that Embiid could be accessible early this week. As a result of the 76ers dealt with enterprise, they received’t want him till the weekend on the earliest. The Boston Celtics dropped a recreation on Friday to the Atlanta Hawks. Even when they do win on Sunday, the earliest that they’ll shut the sequence is on Tuesday at dwelling. The Celtics — a championship favourite — might be going through a well-rested 76ers crew that hasn’t been this assured since Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue.
Giving a contender credit score for a dominant first spherical might sound superfluous, however the 76ers did really earn a brand new badge. They dispatched an inferior — but feisty — opponent as shortly as humanly attainable. Now they get to attend — and their star will get to heal — because the 76ers get able to play in an important sequence within the entirety of the “course of.”