GRADES: Embiid gets hurt as Sixers drop Game 4 to Wizards

Ben Simmons, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Sixers couldn’t overcome Washington as Joel Embiid went down during the first quarter and never entered the game after the 36 second mark in the first quarter.

An early 16-5 run by Philadelphia was quickly answered as Davis Bertans scored ten points in less than five minutes to bring Washington within four at 21-17.

A mini Robin Lopez barrage bought the game close with a Shake Milton lay-in giving Philadelphia the quarter, 31-28.

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with strong performances across both teams as they traded baskets in route to a 61-60 lead for Philadelphia as the teams parted to their halftime locker rooms.

Like the previous half, the third quarter started out as an ever affair. A Danny Green three-pointer with 7:04 remaining brought Philadelphia within one point as Washington led 73-72.

From there, Washington closed out the quarter on a 19-8 run before taking a 92-80 lead heading into the fourth quarter of an elimination game.

A 16-3 run by Philadelphia in just over the first three minutes of the quarter paved the way for a tepidly, exhilarating affair.

A Seth Curry step-back jumper tied the game with 3:15 remaining. The next possession for Washington was locked up by the Philadelphia defense resulting in a shot clock violation. Philadelphia inbound, Simmons intentionally fouled; a soon-to-be constant theme.

Simmons, who entering this stretch of free throws was 1-13 in the series from the charity stripe, went 4-8 while looking mostly uncomfortable in the spectacle.

Without Embiid, Tobias Harris was shouldered with the offensive load. A pass to Simmons would result in an immediate foul and return to the line. Philadelphia needed more points per possession.

Harris looked like a third option executing late game offense in the playoffs. He made some plays and didn’t look out of place, but didn’t breed confidence, either.

The lack of flow in the offense coupled with a gorgeous assist from Bradley Beal to Rui Hachimura sealed the victory for Washington.

Grades from a disappointing Game 4 loss on the road, in which Joel Embiid got hurt and Ben Simmons put his shooting struggles on full display.

INC.. . C. 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

11 mins | 8 pts | 6 reb | 2 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 2-6 FG | 0-2 3PT| 4-4 FT | 1 PF | +2 |

Embiid’s grade will ultimately be determined by the extent of his injury and that grade will reflect not Embiid, but the Philadelphia faithful’s hope. He was good in his minutes, but a hard fall in the first proved to be a night-ender. We wait and see.

C. . PG. 76ers. BEN SIMMONS

25 mins | 13 pts | 12 reb | 3 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 4-5 FG | 0-0 3PT| 5-11 FT | 5 PF | +4 |

For someone who played mostly strong defense and put up 13/12/3 on five shots, the games ending exposed many fans worries. Historically poor free-throw shooting resulted in a “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy to Simmons. His incapability, which was perfectly capable relative to his previous performance, proved futile as it disrupted the offensive flow for Philadelphia. In a potential closeout game, great teams typically get it done. Philadelphia would have with their big man. It just felt like they still should have with Simmons leading the way.

B-. . PF. 76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS

37 mins | 21 pts | 13 reb | 5 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 8-24 FG | 1-5 3PT| 4-4 FT | 4 PF | -8 |

Harris shouldered an offensive burden likely beyond his playoff capabilities. He didn’t have it tonight and Philadelphia doesn’t want his having to carry that burden. 24 shots for 21 points isn’t great, but this game is hideous for Philadelphia without Harris. An adequate game when assessed without overhyped expectations.

B+. . PG. 76ers. GEORGE HILL

22 mins | 14 pts | 1 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 3-5 FG | 3-5 3PT| 5-6 FT | 1 PF | +2 |

George Hill shot efficiently as he parlayed five attempts into 14 points and spaced the floor. Hill’s presence on the floor is steadying when he’s knocking down shots, especially given the frantic, and phenomenally enjoyable, style of Tyrese Maxey as the other back-up running mate given Milton’s slide down the depth chart.

D-. . C. 76ers. DWIGHT HOWARD

14 mins | 1 pts | 4 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 0-3 FG | 0-0 3PT| 1-4 FT | 4 PF | -10 |

Howard was forced into a bigger role when Embiid went down. That role never materialized. Howard drew four fouls in only fourteen minutes of action. He has been phenomenal value all year and one game won’t anything to sway that sentiment. It just was a bad performance in a game where even adequate one would have made a difference.

The teams will reconvene in Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday as Philadelphia looks to solidify the gentleman’s sweep. In the meantime, Embiid’s health will be closely followed as his presence will be instrumental in the team’s long-term success.

Next. 15 greatest playoff moments in franchise history. dark