By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers travelled to Boston to face the Celtics with the series tied at three-games apiece. Early in the game it was a slug fest, but when it mattered the most Jayson Tatum refused to lose this game as he drowned the Sixers with shot after shot to blow them off the court 112-88.
Early in the game the Sixers were playing like the hungrier team they made the Celtics pau for daring to leave them open. PJ Tucker scored 11-points by the end of the first quarter and Philly was firmly in control of this game. Had the game ended right there and the Sixers would be going to their first Eastern Conference Championship since 2001. Instead, the Celtics took control of the game thanks to a Jaylen Brown taunt and a Georges Niang grab. The Celtics cut the lead to two and by the end of the second quarter had a three-point lead by half-time. Jayson Tatum took full control of this game. He had 22 of his 51-points by half-time. Unlike the last few games, he refused to let any member of the Sixers stop him in the contest.
For the Sixers when they look back on the season this was one of the more pathetic ways to go out. It’s one thing to make it to game seven and tough it out and fight to the final buzzer. It is a whole other thing to do what the Sixers not named Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, and Tyrese Maxey did which was wilt under pressure. Joel Embiid has to look at this game and get better he played with an injured knee. However, the difference in this game was fairly simple Tatum played like a superstar and Embiid and Harden did not. The Sixers went out very sad in a season that had so much promise and now the whole franchise has to change, Doc Rivers may not have his job anymore and James Harden may not be here anymore. All that will be left is Joel Embiid and he will have to spend the offseason in the lab and may have a new coach and some new toys to play with but this series turned on Thursday night when Tatum saved the Celtics. When Embiid had the opportunity, he could not save the Sixers and now this team will most certainly look different next season.
The Boston Celtics will now head to the Eastern Conference Championship to play the Miami Heat on Wednesday night and the Sixers will head into another offseason with another disappointing second round exit and fans rightfully so pissed off at them and the Sixers will need to take a long hard look in the mirror to figure out what each player needs to do differently to finally get over the hump next season. Right now, Philly’s championship aspirations are looking bleak unless something changes drastically. This is the type of loss that costs a lot of people their jobs.