Dominated in the first two innings in Florida, the Sixers were not only happy to go home for two games in a row, but especially to find Joel Embiid for Game 3 and 4.
With their All-Star pivot, the troops of Doc Rivers managed to return to two wins everywhere, even if Embiid is far from his best level since he only compiled 21 points and 11 rebounds on average.
“I’m not in great shape yet”he confides to the Inquirer, he who suffered a fractured face, not to mention his thumb ligament injury. “Every day I am getting better. I hope to be even better when we go to Miami, in order to be able to be as dominant as in the past. »
“Joel will be on the plane”, answers Doc Rivers when asked how he and his players intend to surf on their dynamic in Florida. Clearly, life with Joel Embiid is much better for the Sixers.
“We gain confidence as the series progresses”notes James Harden. “For the first two matches, we were in the fog. It’s obvious that with Joel, we find our bearings. We know what to expect, we know how to play both sides. The job is much easier. His return was an X factor and we were able to maintain our confidence between the two matches. We still have to do it in Game 5.”
The presence of the Cameroonian allowed Philadelphia to win the rebound battle and to be more skilful from a distance. Dominant in the first two games, Bam Adebayo suffered in Game 3 and Erik Spoelstra revived him in Game 4… by making him play a lot when Joel Embiid was resting.
However, everything is not perfect for the Sixers, and Joel Embiid in the lead, who still lose too many balls (18 on average in the last two games) and suffer against Jimmy Butler (33 and 40 points in Philadelphia).
” It’s my fault “assumes the finalist for the MVP trophy, preceded by Nikola Jokic, in reference to Game 4. “In the second half, I was not as dominant in defense as in the first half. The next game, I will do better, for sure. He had it too easy. »
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