Embiid vs. Portland

Last nights game for the Eastern Conference's top team saw them face an unfamiliar foe from the West. The Portland Trail Blazers came into last nights contest with a record of 11-9, which is good for 7th in the Western Conference and last night is the only time the Sixers will see them all year. Portland also came into the game banged up with only 9 players on the available roster. Already missing Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum, Portland would be without their best player, Damian Lillard. Sixers are coming off a win last night in Charlotte and are on the second of a back to back. They would also be without Ben Simmons, which let Furkan Korkmaz into the starting lineup.


Game Recap

I don't like to go too in depth with the game recaps and will mostly focus on the top takeaways from each quarter. The first quarter saw Joel and Tobias carry the Sixers offensively with Furkan adding a few baskets of his own. However, the Trail Blazers came to play last night and you could tell from the first few minutes this game isn't going to be a cake walk like the Sixers had hoped. Gary Trent Jr. and Carmelo Anthony carried the load offensively for the Blazers. Sixers had a huge scare in the first as Embiid got hurt after an awkward landing when blocking an Enes Kanter shot, but he would later return with a few minutes left in the first. First quarter ended with the Sixers and Blazers tied at 28. Second quarter was an interesting one as Joel could not be stopped. He scored 21 straight points for the Sixers, but they still found themselves exchanging leads with the Blazers throughout the quarter. A big part of this was the fact that the Sixers went a whopping 0-12 from the 3pt line in the first half and the Blazers were 6-14. First half ended all tied as well at 57-57. Embiid tied the Sixers record for points in a quarter in the second quarter with 25.

I don't know what happened in the second half, but the Sixers looked awful. Awful. Portland starts the second half on a 12-0 run and the Sixers could never recover. The offense looked all out of sorts with bad possession after bad possession. Philly had their best quarter of the year last night against Charlotte and had their worst one tonight against Portland. They lost the quarter 40-19 and there isn't much more to say about that. There isn't much to say about the the fourth quarter either as the Blazers just completely outplayed the Sixers the entire second half. The Blazers pretty much held a 20 point lead for a majority of the second half. The final score was 121-105.


Stats

Embiid- 37 PTS | 5 REB | 1 AST

Harris- 12 PTS | 11 REB | 5 AST

Green- 3 PTS | 5 REB | 1-5 3PT

Curry- 0 PTS | 12 MIN

Korkmaz- 13 PTS | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1-7 3PT

Maxey- 15 PTS | 4 AST | 3-4 3PT


My Thoughts

On paper it looked like the Sixers would have another pretty easy game... or so we thought. There are excuses that the Sixers could use like coming off a 7 game road trip where they didn't get a day off to rest from coming home blah blah blah. I know Ben's defense was missed, but even if he did play I don't think it would have made much of a difference. What I saw was a lack of effort on the Sixers part to do the little things. They should not be getting out rebounded by 53-37 when they have the size advantage. Three point shooting killed the Sixers with no one being able to get anything going from outside and the team shot 7-27 on the game. You aren't going to win many games in the NBA if you aren't hitting your threes. Seth got hurt early in the first half, but he still put up 0 points again. He doesn't seem to be looking to get his shots when he's out there like he was in the beginning of the season. Almost everything that could go wrong, did for the Sixers in the second half which is a shame because Embiid looked like he was going to have a career game. Although you don't ever want to see games like we did tonight, they do happen and all they can do is have a short memory, learn from it, and move on to the next one.