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Do or die tonight for the Sixers in Game 6

With their season on the line, the Sixers will take on the Heat tonight in Game 6 in Philadelphia. Miami leads the series 3 games to 2.

Short newsletter today, both because of the quick turnaround for Game 6, and also because Game 5 barely qualified as basketball. If they execute that poorly, give that mediocre of an effort, and get out-worked in virtual every way, their season will be over tonight.

How bad was Game 5?

  • The 73.9 points per 100 plays the Sixers averaged in the half court was their 4th worst performance of the season (regular and postseason combined).
  • At least they were consistent: they shot just 30% on short midrange shots (4-14'), 33.3% on long midrange shots (14'-3pt line) and 30.8% on 3s.
  • Miami shot 76.2% (16-21) at the rim.
  • CleaningTheGlass estimated that Miami added 11.5 points over their expected value through transition, the second-worst performance of the season for the Sixers in terms of transition defense.
  • With just 15 free-throw attempts (compared to 85 field goal attempts), the Sixers' FTr of 17.6% was their lowest (by far) of the playoffs. They had previously been averaging a 32.6% FTr up to that point in the playoffs. In fact, it was the first time that Embiid and Harden both played in a game and they had a free-throw rate of below 20%.
  • After having a turnover rate of just 10.8% in the first two games of the series, the Sixers have turned the ball over on 16.3% of their possessions in the last three games. Those numbers haven't entirely correlated with wins and losses, since the first two games were both losses (despite taking care of the ball), and two of the last three were wins (including a 24.2% turnover rate performance in Game 3), but the turnovers were definitely a significant contributing factor in Game 5, and that's a trend you'd like to see reversed.
  • Second Spectrum tracked just 44 touches, and just one post-up and one paint touch, for Embiid in Game 5. He averaged 76 touches, 9.8 post-ups and 5.3 paint touches per game in the regular season. (Note: Second Spectrum defines a "paint touch" as any time a player receives the ball inside the 3-second lane).

All that said, I do expect a better effort from them in this one.

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