James Harden, 76ers 'Rolled Over' in Lackluster Game 5 Loss vs. Jimmy Butler, HeatMay 11, 2022
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high entering Tuesday's Game 5 against the Miami Heat after back-to-back wins on their home floor, but those good vibes were short-lived.
The Sixers reverted back to the lackluster effort level that cost them in the first two games of the series, resulting in a 120-85 blowout loss to the Heat at FTX Arena to fall behind 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Miami hit Philadelphia with an avalanche to start the game and never looked back, shooting an impressive 53.6 percent from the field. The Sixers' defense wasn't any better than its offense, with no player on the team reaching 20 points.
Star center Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 17 points, but he looked lethargic throughout the game and only attempted 12 shots. James Harden had 14 points, and Tobias Harris added 12. After averaging 23 points in the first four games, Tyrese Maxey was held to nine points on 2-of-10 shooting.
No player on the Sixers was immune from the wrath of fans and critics online who were vocal about the team's dismal effort in a crucial playoff game, with some even accusing them of giving up.
Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith
This is one of the most awful performances I’ve seen the <a href="https://twitter.com/sixers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sixers</a> put forth in a long time. No effort whatsoever, from start to finished. Look like they just laid down, rolled over and said “we’ve got Game 6 on Thursday.” Guess they were looking for another overnight stay in Miami
The Sixers have proved able to defeat the Heat, so games like this cannot be tolerated. It should not be up to Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers to beg his players to show some heart in a pivotal playoff game. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened Tuesday.
The Sixers now face the possibility of being eliminated from the playoffs on their home floor. If they come out with lackluster effort against Miami again, they will have no chance in Thursday's Game 6.