Hawks Game 4 reactions: All takes welcomed

In between the lines

What a difference a half of basketball can make. The Sixers seemed to be cruising along on their way to a 3-1 series lead, ready to validate that game one was a fluke. At that point, they had outright won or split 11 of the 14 quarters in the series. Then they let a desperate Hawks team tie up the series.

Mr Pessimistic (aka every Philadelphia dad) will tell you that this proves they need a more traditional closer and more players with an overall ability to create their own shot. They will also say that clearly Embiid is too injured to carry this team through playoffs and that Doc is no better than BB. The Ben haters will be out in full force, the Dwight bashers will tell you he cost us critical points and the George Hill search party should be kicking off. They let an Atlanta team shoot horrible from the field and still win. Yet another year of not reaching the ECF is ahead…

But then there’s glass half full guy, they are more rare, but do indeed exist. These Hawks are very strong at home and needed a historically bad half from Jo to eek out a must-win game. Tobi still played very strong (so strong that it would have made too much sense to let the ball find him down one with 15 seconds to go). Jo was clearly bad and something was not right, but he still fought his way to 20 boards and a helluva effort. Three games left and two are in Philly so we got this…

Where’s the truth? Sports imitating life here- it’s somewhere in the middle. It still seems more likely than not that the Sixers win this series, and their reward will be either a hobbled Nets team or a perplexing Bucks team.

 

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Dave Chappelle always makes me feel better. And so does the Vinsider.

https://twitter.com/vinfosh/status/1404636233771499523?s=21

 

The bottom line

Turning to Master Yoda here- “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

There’s fear alright- Jo appeared to have no legs and championship aspirations and that’s a really scary thought. It’s then easy to be furious that he is putting his best year together so this happens while the Nets are wounded. Why wouldn’t you hate this whiny Hawks team and hate that garbage injuries always seem to happen to us? Let’s not even talk about suffering.

Forgetting Master Yoda, have no fear about this Game 4 loss as we will bounce back thanks to our own Thy-master, Jo and Ben- officially named today three of the top defenders in the Association. And if there truly is a problem with Jo’s health moving forward, well at least we know how to do suffering the right way in Philly.

Hawks Game 3 reactions: Jo and Ben versus (all of) Atlanta

In between the lines

There was a LOT to feel good about with this game. And that’s accounting for the angst and nerves related to injury scares with Danny (calf, end result of boot), Tobi (dumb cameraman) and Jo (any time he makes a slight grimace). The defense was absolutely stifling in a few stretches, a very encouraging scene with a likely battle looming with Brooklyn. Tisse should be commended tonight, you will gladly have him use all six of his fouls against Trae, especially if he is able to hit a three and throw down a few dunks along the way.

Trae was essentially a non-factor. This was one of the quietest 28-point efforts I have ever seen. In fact, he was the game’s high scorer, but he also had 10 of his points in the last 7 minutes after the game was decided. Instead, the best offense of the night goes to the dynamic duo of Jo and Ben. Coming out of halftime, they tortured the young Hawks D and it seems that they could have legitimately had their way against them 2v5.

I was prematurely frustrated when Jo came back in around the seven minute mark up by 20. Doc proved right there as the Hawks still had some fight. However, there is no excuse for him to be on the court with less than one minute in what was a 16-point win. While Doc may have been sending a message that he does not plan to take this Atlanta squad lightly, he definitely shouldn’t be taking any extra wear and tear on a torn meniscus lightly either.

 

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http://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/31610890

Another day, another swing and miss by Stephen A. “[Atlanta], the future you have been waiting for, has finally arrived.” If Game 3 is any indication of the future for this Hawks franchise, I guess that sometimes it is better to live in the past. The poor Hawks fans had a tough night as the biggest thing they had to cheer about was when Embiid came up gimpy- stay classy Atlanta.

 

The bottom line

The Sixers are clearly the better team and appear fully motivated to prove this to everyone the rest of the series. Tell your mom, your neighbor, that Celtics fan at your gym, and definitely tell Stephen A. Let’s also check-in with the wins remaining to a Championship tracker. 10 (as of tonight), then 9-8 to eliminate the Hawks, Seventy-Sixers.

A full day of cruising WebEmbiid

In between the lines

A few stats- Tobi is averaging 25 points in the playoffs, up more than five from the regular season. He’s also pulling in 10 boards per game. Ben recorded a triple double and hit (quadruple checks notes) over 50% of his free throws. Seth dropped 30 (with only three 3’s) and Maxey continues to prepare himself for the role of the difference maker in an upcoming playoff game. Also, it’s always nice to have single-digit turnovers after the BB era.

Another bit of good news- 12 wins to go is less than 13 wins.

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https://twitter.com/russelbealbrook/status/1400266484312596484?s=21

The bottom line

Today, I received medical advice via video from a doctor- the esteemed Dr Bartolozzi, to be specific. Normal for these COVID times, right? It was about a slight meniscus tear, a relatively normal injury. However the diagnosis was not for myself, nor for anyone in my immediate family. It was for a person that I have never met (but admittedly care about very deeply). Prior to watching the video, I flip-flopped between ‘I have to watch this ASAP’ and pushing it off for fear of the unknown.

This is still normal, right? Probably not. But nothing is normal about being a sports fan, particularly one from Philadelphia. There’s no chill, joy is fleeting and there is an ever-expanding sense of doom. However, the good doctor seemed to be hinting at good news.

Here’s the bottom line- and what I will be repeating to myself (even if this is one of those night I’m wavering): Trust the Process, and that Jo just needs 2+ weeks of rehab. Let’s worry about it then. If we cannot beat the Hawks without Embiid, we aren’t beating the Nets with a completely healthy Jo.

But the bottom, bottom line- If Jo is not okay come the ECF, I’m coming for your medical license Dr Bartolozzi.

Game 4 Reactions- Sixers x Wiz

In between the lines

Tyrese Maxey can play ball. And to think, it was seriously discussed that we trade him (along with probably Danny “all I do is win” Green) for Kyle Lowry. He belongs in the Association and he might just play some very meaningful minutes in some very meaningful games in a few weeks. His shot keeps looking better, he has become a threat on the defensive end and he is absolutely fearless in attacking the rim.

As the voice of our Sixers might say, Tyrese Maxey turned an otherwise garbage night into gold.

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https://twitter.com/jlacy14_/status/1399545658332401667?s=21

The bottom line

The Sixers are just fine (if Embiid is fine). The Washington Izards was barely able to earn their first W, and the chances of them getting their second W seem small (if Embiid plays next game). Nearly everything broke their way, including dominating the paint (because Embiid’s back… Knee… Eyebrow… lie to me all you want if this was just for precautions). The bottom line- if Embiid is healthy so are our title chances. So basically, everything we knew already.