PLAYER GRADES: Brooklyn Nets 111, Philadelphia 76ers 102

Jimmy Butler | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers came up short to the Brooklyn Nets in the playoff opener. In a game where it seemed the Nets could not miss their shots, it seemed that the Sixers could not make any. It was a tough loss, but it is only one game. The good teams are able to pick themselves up and get back to business.

Some losses are taken with pride. A squad plays their tails off and were simply the lesser of the two teams.

Other losses are embarrassing. For 48 minutes, discombobulation and lethargy manifest in the form of a half-hearted basketball game.

Philadelphia 76ers fans should receive full refunds and free road beers after that game. There was no cohesion and it seemed like they did not want to be there, save Jimmy Butler.

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For 11 months there have been countless jokes on Twitter of Ben Simmons being a “coward” following his less-than-mediocre series against the Celtics in the second round all year. For right now, those jokes are all welcome. The Sixers could have played 4-on-5 basketball with Simmons off the floor and they would not have been any worse.

J.J. Redick and Tobias Harris appeared to sink beneath the moment.

Aside from the emotional distress from the ugliest performance by the Sixers all year, the Brooklyn Nets deserve credit. They are a real team.

They had six players in double figures and D’Angelo Russell continues to stick it to the Los Angeles Lakers for cutting ties. The young stud led the way with 26 points.

Brooklyn shot 11-26 from three-point range (42.3 percent) and the Sixers could not match. They seemed to halt every rally by quickly reversing momentum, thus disallowing the Sixers to get back into the game minus an early third quarter charge.

The Sixers committed turnovers and fouls at inopportune times. For three hours on a Saturday afternoon, the Wells Fargo Center was NOT the place to be for the Philadelphia faithful.

A. <strong>39 mins | 36 pts | 9 reb | 0 ast | 2 stl | 2 blk | 2 TO | 11-22 FG | 1-3 3PT| 13-15 FT | 3 PF | +11 |</strong><p>Jimmy Butler was the only player in the starting lineup who showed heart for four quarters. He put the team on his back and carried them during the bleeding. He was the only reason the game was not over by halftime. It was his best performance as a Sixer but unfortunately it was not enough.</p>. SF. Philadelphia 76ers. JIMMY BUTLER

C. <strong>24 mins | 22 pts | 15 reb | 4 ast | 0 stl | 5 blk | 3 TO | 5-15 FG | 0-5 3PT| 12-18 FT | 1 PF | -17 |</strong><p>It certainly does not help that Embiid was questionable up until game time. The center scored seven points early but struggled to muster up much for the remainder of the game. It was easy to tell his ability to dominate the paint was absent and he was not moving well. Nonetheless, the team goes as Embiid goes. He needs to be better.</p>. C. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

BOBAN MARJANOVIC. C. <strong>15 mins | 13  pts | 3 reb | 4 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 5-7 FG | 0-0 3PT| 3-4 FT | 2 PF | +3 |</strong><p>There is something to be said about “holding the floor” when a more important player needs to rest. Obviously, Embiid was unable to play as much as the Sixers will need down the stretch. But Boban did a decent job “holding the floor” while he was out. He hit a pair of impressive elbow jumpers. But he can not be the third-best player in any game moving forward. Bad things will happen.</p>. C. Philadelphia 76ers

F. <strong>32 mins | 9 pts | 7 reb | 3 ast | 1 stl | 3 blk | 3 TO | 4-9 FG | 0-0 3PT| 1-5 FT | 4 PF | -21 |</strong><p>For any fans who were discouraged after Simmons’ underwhelming performance during last season’s second-round matchup against the Boston Celtics, this one was quite the resemblance. He lacked aggression and appeared more interested in crossing half court and letting the other guys do the work. Simmons was a total no-show.</p>. PG. Philadelphia 76ers. BEN SIMMONS

F. <strong>41 mins | 4 pts | 7 reb | 6 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 0 TO | 2-7 FG | 0-2 3PT| 0-0 FT | 2 PF | +3 |</strong><p>Tobias was a non-factor. Four points will not cut it for a guy who many called an All-Star snub this year. Seven shots will not do. He was brought to Philadelphia to add shooting and playmaking, neither of which were evident in this contest.</p>. PF. Philadelphia 76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS

The Sixers will need to look at everything they did in this game and do the exact opposite if they want to avoid going to Brooklyn down 2-0.

Hopefully The Process will be able to maintain his health and provide that interior presence that the Nets simply have no answer for, despite Jarrett Allen showing lots of promise this year.

It will be interesting to see how Brett Brown has this team prepared coming out the gates in Game 2. There was no sense or urgency in this one.

It is unlikely that the Nets will snipe from long range like this moving forward but there cannot be a major discrepancy in future games. It is a shooter’s league and the five best shooters on the court all wore white jerseys with “BROOKLYN” stitched across the front.

An overreaction would be declaring this Sixers team doomed. A knee-jerk analysis would be discussing how the Nets can make it a competitive series against the Raptors while the Sixers blow up everything outside Joel Embiid.

At The Sixer Sense, we are honest. We do not let our bias in the way of delivering the truth.

What we all saw Saturday afternoon was a pathetic display of basketball.

Time to show heart. Time to take the Nets seriously. Time for Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid to keep social media scrolling away from the bench.

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Game 2 will take place in Philadelphia at 8 PM E.T. on TNT.