By Jerry Wein
So, after Wednesday’s night’s blowout loss to the Celtics in game 2, will the Sixers fight for tonight’s game 3 or have they checked out already?
If they fight they might steal a game and avoid a sweep.
If not, they’re gone for the summer and coach Brett Brown will have to answer.
Tobias Harris, who signed a five-year, $180 million deal this offseason, finished 4 of 15 Wednesday, botching several buckets a player signed to that contract should be expected to make.
Al Horford, who inked a four-year, $109 million deal, was a shell of “Playoff Al,” turning in four points.
With two of the team’s big-money players underperforming, Brown’s coaching decisions are only exacerbated. In their pick-and-roll coverage, the Sixers have decided to keep Embiid at the rim while Boston’s big roams free on the perimeter. The result? Plenty of open looks for the Celtics. As point guard Kemba Walker noted, he hasn’t seen “that much space” in a “very long time.”
Brown will likely abandon the strategy in Game 3, especially after Embiid’s postgame comments.
“I know they want me to stay back on our pick-and-rolls and protect the basket, but they’ve just been coming off and making a lot of threes, so we got to make adjustments,” Embiid said. “Something’s got to change. It feels too easy. They’re just walking into those shots. We gotta fix that.”