With the season at an end, the Sixers fell apart at the finish line, losing the game 99-90 and the series 4-2 to the Miami Heat. Despite not playing very inspirational ball in the first half, the Sixers got solid halves from Joel Embiid and James Harden and found themselves down by just a point. They completely collapsed in the third quarter, shooting just 6 of 21 from the field in frame. After a 32-point performance from Jimmy Butler and 20 points from Max Strus, the Heat would take a double-digit lead and never look back.
Joel Embiid gave everything his body gave him and scored 20 points and 12 rebounds but was hampered by the field as he shot 7 of 22. James Harden had a solid 11-point winning record in the first half before diving quite a bit; He didn’t score in the second half. Tyrese Maxey had 20 points, but it was too little, too late. As the Sixers head into another offseason with more questions than answers, here are some immediate reactions from Game 6.
- Danny Green’s injury looked absolutely brutal. So much of Embiid’s weight landed on his left leg. This is a major blow for a team that has already struggled with chords in this series. Despite its inconsistencies, Danny Green’s loss in the second round is a huge blow to this team for the second straight year.
- Green’s lack of distance presence was felt immediately as the offense really struggled in extended Thybulle minutes. The Sixers were already struggling to get Embiid the ball in Miami’s zone, but it was even harder when they’re essentially playing 4-for-5 offensively.
The Heat’s defense completely ignores Matisse Thybulle.
Herro just hangs in the alley to help, Dedmon leaves the basket to double up for Harris, the Sixers can’t move. pic.twitter.com/4UQmS3hFVQ
— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) May 12, 2022
- Jimmy Butler was an absolute threat in this series, especially in the Philly games. He picked up right where he left off, with nine of his 32 points scoring first. Max Strus was another thorn in Philly’s side, taking 16 points in the first half. The Sixers were lucky to be just three down after the first quarter.
- The Sixers were spurred on by their stars in the second quarter. Although Embiid was still struggling with his midrange game, he left it all out there. He only sat a minute of the first half and literally threw his body all over the place. He finished the first half with 14/6/2.
- James Harden also had a solid first half with 11 points (3-of-5 3PT) and five assists, but since he barely contributed from anyone else, Miami was able to go into halftime with a one-point lead.
- It’s a bit surprising how much more intensity the Heat came out of halftime than the Sixers. The Heat started the third with a 23-4 run that made the Sixers look like they were still in mid-February, not an elimination game. The lack of intensity displayed by pretty much every sixer not named Embiid in the last two games has been disheartening.
- In the third quarter it completely collapsed. As the Heat took the lead, the Sixers collapsed like a beach chair. It’s so disappointing to see the season end like this. There was a small seven-point sprint from Shake Milton that looked like the faintest sign of life and Maxey had a small burst in the fourth but the Heat crushed them both. It’s always been an uphill battle to win this series with Embiid injured, but the fact that it felt like he was going to give in with a broken face more than any of his teammates is honestly a really fitting way of summing up the entire season.