Sixers eliminated from In-Season Tournament

Joel Embiid, 76ers - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, 76ers - Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sixers played their final game of the NBA In-Season Tournament group stage on Tuesday night. The 122-119 overtime loss to the Cavaliers has officially eliminated the Sixers from moving to the knockout round (quarterfinals) of the tournament. Overall, the Sixers finish at 2-2 in group play with road wins in Detroit and Atlanta while falling at home to both the Pacers and Cavaliers.

2 Key Plays from the Sixers loss to the Cavaliers

You can watch both of these plays below.

Joel Embiid misses a tough shot to win the game

First, the Sixers made a second-half push against the Cavaliers to take the lead, but it was a potential game-winning shot missed from Embiid that sent the game into overtime. Coming out of a timeout, the Sixers called Embiid’s number in an isolation matchup with Tristan Thompson starting near the top of the key. While the ball was in the hands of the right guy, and we have seen Embiid make that shot more than a few times, it is hard to like the shot selection in that scenario. A Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid two-man play could’ve set Joel Embiid up to receive the ball closer to the foul line for a more high-percentage midrange look or an opportunity to attack the basket.

Nic Batum’s errant attempt to find an open teammate

With the Sixers trailing by 1-point and 18 seconds to go in overtime, Nick Nurse drew up a play to get Maxey attacking the basket. The play was executed well, but Maxey’s layup did not fall. There was a fight for the rebound, and Batum had a chance to grab it but elected to tap it out to what he thought was an open teammate. This decision by Batum was costly for the Sixers as the ball flew out of bounds off of Batum. The Cavaliers regained possession, made two more free throws, and won the game.

Thoughts on the In-Season Tournament

Although the Sixers will not be advancing past the group stage, the In-Season Tournament has brought some early-season excitement to November basketball. There have been tightly-contested games throughout and some clear buy-in from the players and coaches. The knockout rounds should prove to be even more exciting it will just be the Sixers on the outside, looking in.