An agonized Brett Brown sat back in his chair with his arms folded up like an accordion and stared into the ceiling of Scotiabank Arena in despair as the Philadelphia 76ers committed yet another mistake.
It was that kind of night.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Toronto Raptors eviscerated the Philadelphia 76ers 125-89 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night.
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) May 8, 2019
That’s definitely what every Sixers fan feels like at the moment.
Joel Embiid is still fighting an upper respiratory infection and his play has dipped. Ben Simmons isn’t fighting an upper respiratory infection and his play has significantly dipped.
Simmons took just five shots in Game 5 after Jimmy Butler told him prior to the game to “attack every single time,” but instead of attacking, he was facilitating. With a head of steam going downhill to the basket, I need to see Simmons attack the rim. I want to see him back to attempting 12-to-14 shots a game, not looking to constantly drive and kick or try and squeeze passes into tight spaces along the interior.
And then there was Jojo, who committed eight turnovers and snatched just six rebounds while scoring 13 points. The Sixers had been dominating the glass all series, but Toronto held a 42-37 margin in that category. Embiid and Simmons combined for 13 of the Sixers’ 19 giveaways.
There’s been a lot of criticism headed towards Embiid’s way following his performances the last two games, but Sixers head coach Brett Brown feels like it’s unfair.
"I think its grossly unfair."
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 8, 2019
Brown also explained how the game snowballed and got out of control.
Brett Brown broke down the tough Game 5 loss that went right out of the SIxers hands in his postgame comments/ pic.twitter.com/3gQfe1iEuP
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 8, 2019
Jimmy Butler, who’s been the most consistent Sixer in the series, led the team with 22 points.
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka stepped up big again for Toronto, with Lowry tallying 19 points, six rebounds and five assists and Ibaka chipping in with 19 points. The Raptors shot 40 percent (16-of-40) from beyond the arc after struggling from downtown heading into the game.
The Raptors held a slim 27-26 margin following a quarter of play, but outscored the Sixers 37-17 in the second and took a 64-43 cushion into the break. Philly never cut the gap below 13 in the second half.
Game 6 is Thursday in Philly.