The leading 2 groups in the Eastern Conference went head-to-head when the Philadelphia 76 ers hosted the Brooklyn Webs on Wednesday night. The groups got in the night with the exact same precise record (37-17) and they had actually divided the very first 2 conferences of the project. The 3rd match was exceptionally crucial for a couple of factors– the winning group would take a complete video game lead over the other in the standings, and they would likewise hold the season tiebreaker, as the groups will not fulfill once again throughout the routine season. Provided the stakes, some even made the case that it was the most crucial video game of the routine season to this point.
Regrettably, injury problems drew a great deal of juice out of the contest and robbed us of seeing the East’s finest groups contend at complete strength. The Webs got in the night incredibly shorthanded as they lacked a myriad of essential factors consisting of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Sixers lacked backup huge guy Dwight Howard, who missed his very first video game of the season with left knee discomfort.
Provided how shorthanded they were, the Internet are worthy of a great deal of credit for continuing to battle and keeping the video game close all the method till completion, in spite of the truth that the Sixers opened a 20- point lead in the 3rd quarter. Eventually however, the Sixers– and particularly All-Star center Joel Embiid– showed to be too hard to fall for the Webs without their complete enhance of stars. In spite of practically offering the video game away, Philadelphia took out a 123-117 win to protect the tiebreaker with the Internet, and the front runner in the East for the time being.
Embiid blazed a trail for Philly with a dominant 39- point, 13- rebound efficiency, while Tobias Harris included 26 points and 5 rebounds of his own. Kyrie Irving placed on a program in the loss and he paced the Internet with 37 points and 9 helps. Here’s a take a look at 3 crucial takeaways from the video game.
1. Embiid continues to climb up back into the MVP discussion
I’m lacking things to state about Embiid in these wrap-ups. Relatively every video game, despite the challenger it’s the exact same story– Embiid physically controls the opposition to the point that they are required to nasty him, over and over once again, due to the fact that if they do not, he’s going to rating. Wednesday night was no various. Embiid didn’t have his finest shooting night (simply 13 of 29 from the flooring), however he shot 11 totally free tosses and made 10 of them. Embiid, in truth, is balancing more complimentary toss efforts per 36 minutes than any other gamer in NBA history.
Embiid has a mix of size and ability that the league simply hasn’t seen prior to, and this season he’s beginning to recognize his complete capacity. When it concerns the MVP race, I composed this about Embiid after he controlled the Mavericks previously today, and it still uses:
When Embiid went down with a knee injury last month, numerous composed him off when it concerned the MVP race. I even composed that a prolonged lack due to the injury would likely cost him the award. Embiid just missed out on 10 video games however, and now he’s back advising everybody why he was the odds-on favorite for the award prior to the injury. Plus, other leading prospects for the award– like James Harden and LeBron James– have actually likewise missed out on considerable time. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the only prospect that hasn’t been troubled by injury problems. Some citizens will likely still hold the video games missed out on versus Embiid, however he’s still in the race, and efficiencies like the one he provided [tonight] definitely assist his case.
After leaving of the leading 5, Embiid returned approximately 3rd in the most current edition NBA.com’s MVP Ladder. As long as he stays healthy and continues to play like he has all season he might possibly still win the award.
2. The season tiebreaker goes to Philly
The Sixers and Nets each now have 17 video games staying. Whichever group eventually winds up at the top of the Eastern Conference when the routine season ends will have homecourt benefit through the conference finals. The Webs (22 -7 in the house) and the Sixers (21 -5) are 2 of the league’s finest house groups, so it’s safe to state that both groups desire that benefit. The 2 groups are neck and neck in the standings, and provided how close they are record-wise, there’s a genuine possibility that the Sixers’ win on Wednesday night might eventually be the identifying element when it concerns postseason positioning, as the much better record in head-to-head conferences is the very first thing they go to if 2 groups are incorporated the standings.
After the video game, Doc Rivers minimized the significance of the win a bit by stating that he does not pay excessive attention to the standings, however Ben Simmons acknowledged the value of protecting the front runner. “We desire that a person seed,” he stated. Embiid agreed.
” For me, the one seed is extremely essential,” Embiid stated. “Every video game we dip into house, it simply seems like we’re unequalled. We simply got ta keep pressing, keep grinding out these wins, and do our finest to keep winning.”
For what it deserves, the Sixers won both video games versus the Internet in Philadelphia this season, however they lost the video game that was played in Brooklyn.
3. A prospective conference finals sneak peek?
At this moment in the season, the Webs and Sixers have actually separated themselves from the remainder of the pack in the East, and the video game in between the 2 groups on Wednesday night might have quickly been an Eastern Conference finals sneak peek. Undoubtedly, both groups will need to function, as there are still numerous other powerful groups in the East, consisting of the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and most significantly, the Milwaukee Bucks. No one must be too shocked if the Webs and Sixers end up being the last groups standing in the conference.
If it does pertain to that, it will be difficult to take excessive from their 3 routine season conferences, given that Durant didn’t play in any of them, and Harden and Irving each played in simply one each. At complete strength, the Webs would undoubtedly offer a significant test for Philadelphia’s defense. They’ll likewise have to figure out a various method when it comes to protecting Embiid, due to the fact that they have actually shown that they do not have anybody capable of slowing him down in an individually situation. There’s still a while to precede the 2 groups would possibly satisfy in a series, however something is for particular– if it concerns that, both groups will be all set.
” When the playoffs begin it’s an entire brand-new monster,” Doc Rivers stated after the video game. “We’ll be all set for them, and I make certain they’ll be all set for us.”