July 21, 2024
2022-nba-playoffs

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia 76ers’ shooting dries up in an Eastern Conference Semifinal disappointment versus Miami Heat bringing an end to the Sixers’ 2022 NBA Playoff hopes at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia.

After dispatching the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs four games to two, the No. 4 seeded Philadelphia 76ers simply couldn’t find a way past the No. 1 seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The 76ers were able to take the series to six games, but a lack of offense doomed them. Philadelphia dropped Game 1 and Game 2 of the best-of-seven series in Miami, allowing triple digits to the Heat in both games. A return to the City of Brotherly Love helped restore order as the 76ers claimed back-to-back wins in Game 3 and Game 4. However, Game 5 in Miami saw the 76ers fail to reach 100 points for the third time in the series. The Heat’s stifling defense once again held Philadelphia in Game 6, giving up just 90 points in a close 99-90 win.

2022 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals

Game 1

The big story going into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was the absence of center Joel Embiid. The NBA MVP Finalist suffered an orbital fracture and concussion in the 76ers’ first round Game 6 win against the Raptors. The 76ers missed their best player as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro lit them up for 25 points. The loss showed the center’s importance as Philly were 6-9 without the big man on the year.

Game 2

Embiid was missing in action once again in Game 2 and the 76ers’ record without him moved to 6-10. Although Embiid was absent, it was the difference in bench points that saw the Heat burn up Philadelphia in South Beach. The Heat’s bench outscored the 76ers’ back-ups 52-19 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

Game 3

Just as Philadelphia looked out of the series, Embiid returned to the line-up for Game 3. The big man played over 36 minutes, pulled down 11 rebounds, and scored 18 points. Prior to Game 3, no 76ers player had pulled down double-digits in rebounds in the series with Miami.

Philly built up a 20-point lead at one point and held on for a 99-79 win. The defense kept Miami to under 100 points for the first time in the series. It wasn’t just Embiid that inspired the team. Tyrese Maxey and Daniel Green scored 21 points apiece.

Game 4

On to Game 4 and the 76ers made great use of home court once more. This time, it was James Harden, acquired in February from the Brooklyn Nets, that lifted the 76ers. Harden scored 31 in a 116-108 victory. Although former Philly guard Jimmy Butler went for 40 points, the Heat couldn’t get enough scoring elsewhere.

Game 5

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, a return to South Beach for Game 5 was a return to Miami turning up the heat and Philly’s defense gave up a total of 120 points. While the defense gave up this many points, the offense couldn’t generate them. The 76ers scored a mere 85 points with Embiid leading the way with 17. In contrast, 41 bench points for the Heat helped them dominate the game and win Game 5.

Game 6

With Game 6 back in Philadelphia, onlookers would have believed the 76ers could force a Game 7 and take the series back to Miami but another sluggish night shooting the ball led to a 99-90 loss. Despite Embiid and Maxey going off for 20 points respectively, the 76ers simply could not generate points elsewhere.

Which leads us to pen this article and a note to our beloved basketball team!

Dear 76ers,

See you in October!

Yours,

Big Philly Fan

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