By Dylan MacKinnon
Once again the Sixers Face Elimination in the second round of the playoffs. It has been the story nearly every year of this era of Sixers basketball. The first time they made the playoffs they lost in round 2 in 5 games. They followed that up in 2019 going to 7 games with the Raptors. But they lost it on a ridiculous Kawhi Leonard walk-off 3pter that bounced 4 times. And then last year they again lost in seven games in the second round, this time to the Hawks.
It is like we are all collectively in the movie Groundhog Day. Except instead of reliving that holiday, we have to relive the Sixers being eliminated in round 2 over, and over, and over again. If they lose tonight, it would make it 4 out of 5 years where they went down in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. And the similarities don’t even end there. This is the third time they have gone into game 6 of a second-round series down 3-2 after losing game 5. They find themselves here after losing game 5 in Miami by 35 points.
The first time they found themselves in this exact situation was vs the Raptors. They lost game 5 that year by 36pts with a nearly identical final score as game 5 in this series. That year, they followed up by winning 6 at home, before losing in Toronto game 7 via the aforementioned heartbreaking shot by Kawhi. And last year they lost game 5 at home after blowing a 24pt lead. They bounced back from that in Atlanta but dropped game 7 at home, in a game that will be remembered for ending the Ben Simmons era in Philly. And now, they find themselves down 3-2 heading into game 6 once again.
As in game 5, the Heat will be without Kyle Lowry. The Heat have won every game Lowry sat, and lost every game he has played. So it may not be the best thing for the Sixers that he won’t be able to go. The Sixers enter the game as 2pt home favorites, despite the blowout loss Tuesday night. No team has won a road game in the series yet. That trend will not have to break tonight for the Sixers yet. But if they win tonight they would have to head to Miami for a decisive game 7.
Tonight’s game tips at 7 pm. Anthony Gargano will preview the game in Cuz’s Corner starting at 6. Then, it is the Pre-Game Show with Devon Givens at 6:50, before Tom McGinnis takes over on the call.