The Sixers are on a two-game winning streak and are looking to take control of the series. Will Doc Rivers’s team come back from being down 0-2 in the series?
Home court advantage is an ingredient for success during the NBA playoffs. Each year, teams with a high seed are granted an extra opportunity to play in front of their hometown crowd. In a seven-game series, the highest seeded team will play at home four times, giving an advantage to the better team. For teams like the 76ers, winning on the road is essential for advancing.
Sixers’ slow start puts team at a disadvantage
The 76ers were desperate for change after falling behind two games in the Eastern Semifinals. Convincing performances from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler hinted at a shocking series sweep. The absence of Joel Embiid changed the way Philadelphia performed on the court. A right orbital fracture sidelined Philadelphia’s number one option, forcing others to pick up the scoring load.
Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey led the scoring charge for Philadelphia during their two-game losing streak. According to ESPN, both Maxey and Harris scored more points than Philadelphia’s recently acquired star. Harden’s struggle to take more control of the offense cost the 76ers an opportunity to steal home-court advantage. With the series slowly drifting away, the Sixers coaching staff called on their MVP to make a return.
Instead of watching his teammates struggle in a must-win game three, Embiid masked up to help the Sixers dig themselves out of their two-game rut. An eighteen-point performance helped the Sixers capture game three with hopes of carrying the momentum to game four.
Sixers need Harden and Embiid to carry momentum
Energy in the Wells Fargo Center helped the Sixers take control early on Sunday. An eight-point lead at halftime was the result of great defense from veteran leaders. Tobias Harris’s and Danny Green’s aggressiveness helped the Sixers accumulate five steals on the night. When it was time to turn defense into points, the Sixers executed in style. According to ESPN.com, the Sixers outscored Miami by thirteen in points off turnovers.
Contributions from James Harden helped the Sixers seal a victory. After struggling at the beginning of the series, Harden found his groove. His thirty-one points in game four were second-most on the floor behind Miami’s Jimmy Butler. Six three-point daggers helped the beard record his highest point total of this year’s playoff run.
As home court advantage becomes more important in the series, Philadelphia must prepare to steal another win on the road Tuesday night. If the 76ers continue their winning streak, they could find themselves in a prime position to steal the series.