Sunday, 16 June, 2019

Nothing could stop Joel Embiid in Nets demolition

Via @ESPNStatsInfo Via @ESPNStatsInfo
Sidney Guerrero | 16 April, 2019, 10:56

Brooklyn +8 looks like another play so let's talk about it. Not helping matters for Philadelphia was its other three starters - Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick - were non-factors, combining for 18 points on 8 of 23 shooting.

The Nets weren't favored to win the first game, but they still did it anyway.

The Sixers will be looking to avoid the dreaded 0-2 hole on Monday in Game 2 before the series shifts to Brooklyn. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, took a 1-0 series lead with a 111-102 win in Philly.

In just four minutes, their 65-64 halftime lead had turned into an 86-66 lead thanks to a 21-2 run.

Joel Embiid is questionable to play. The Sixers had scored at least 116 points in four of their previous five before Saturday's letdown.

The 76ers, who were up by 1 at halftime, outscored the Nets 51-23 in the 3rd quarter.

This was the start of a historic quarter - the 76ers finished with 51 points in the frame, tying the all-time NBA Playoff record for points in a quarter. My belief, and that's shared with Joel and our management and our owners and so on, we're in a phase, we're in a stage, where we're buying time. But they needed someone to step up and be the focal point of the offense, and D'Angelo Russell was more than happy to comply. For a team that made an average of 10.8 threes per game during the regular season, The Nets holding them to only three treys is a fantastic accomplishment. In Game 2, they topped that performance - the bench poured in 80 points led by Spencer Dinwiddie's 15 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's 15 points and 13 points from both Caris LeVert and Shabazz Napier.

Having a reliable bench is great, especially when the 76ers' depth is widely considered to be their biggest weakness.

3 key questions for 76ers when facing Nets in 2019 National Basketball Association playoffs
Embiid ended up playing only 10 minutes in the first half and the 76ers were outscored by 15 points with him on the court. This season, Embiid is averaging 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

"It's not as clear cut as you thought it would be on 'how do you maintain a fitness base and still get his knee rest?'" Brown said.

Simmons is a very talented player, but his lack of jump shot and free throw struggles make him frustrating to watch for Philly faithful. Game 2 was much different, as the raucous crowd had plenty to cheer about.

Jared Dudley proved his value playing solid pestering defense against Simmons and Embiid who are much bigger than him. "Hopefully, I'll feel better and gain a couple more of my athletic abilities so I can be down on the block, but that's got to start just be physical starting with me". Superstar center Joel Embiid was limited to just 24 minutes of action where he scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds but he made only 5 of his 15 shots.

It seems likely that the All-Star center will suit up, but as far as how many minutes he could see, that'll be the big question.

It's one thing when he's beating you at the rim, but what are you going to do when he's hitting mid-range jumpers?

Evan Fournier had 16 points for Orlando and Terrence Ross came off the bench for 10.

The Nets definitely showed they deserve their spot in the playoffs.

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