The season is over. In a series that was full of frustrating games, game 7 was right up there. There was no 20+ point lead that was blown. There was no real lead. The Sixers struggled all night to capitalize on the momentum that the Hawks tried to give them. A defensive stop would be followed up by a turnover, or a missed shot from 3, or a botched layup.
The Sixers defense showed up against Trae Young. He scored 23 points but on 5-23 shooting. But it Kevin Huerter who cooked the Sixers for 27 points. Combine the Hawks getting key contributions from Huerter and Gallinari with the Sixers turnovers and you had a recipe for a loss. The Sixers had 17 turnovers, and Joel Embiid had 8 of them. The biggest was when the Sixers were down late by a basket and he coughed it up. Embiid finished with 31 points, but the turnovers killed the team. And Ben Simmons…..look, Ive defended Ben. Ive defended him a lot. But when youre passing up wide open dunks to dish it to Matisse Thybulle then I have to exit stage left.
The refs were brutal, but the refs didn’t blow a 26 point lead earlier in the series. They also didnt blow a massive lead in the game before that. The refs played a factor and definitely killed any flow of the game, but dont get it twisted, the Sixers lost this game. They werent helped by the refs as much as you may think a home team would but theres still no excuse.
The team now enters an offseason with MASSIVE questions after once again failing to get past the second round.