CAMDEN, NJ – The Philadelphia 76ers trained here Wednesday morning before returning to Toronto for Game Six of the Eastern Conference’s first-round playoff series against the Raptors Thursday night, halfway to what would be an unprecedented meltdown with a 3-point lead. Zero in this series is the best of seven.
76ers coach Doc Rivers is the only coach to have led more than one loss after leading 3-1 in the series—something that has happened to him three times in his career. But when Rivers was asked about the date of the game on Wednesday, he said there was a need to go back and check the record.
“Well, it’s easy to use me as an example,” Rivers said after the team finished training. “But I wish you all could tell me the whole story. All right?
My team is in Orlando [in 2003] She was ranked eighth. Nobody gives me credit for standing against [Detroit] The Pistons, who won the title. That was the eighth seed. I want you to come back and take a look at that list. I dare you to come back and look at that list. And you can say, “What a coach’s job.” Is that true.
“I mean, the Clipper team [in 2015] that we lost 3-1, Chris Paul We didn’t play the first two games, he was playing on one leg, and we didn’t have a pitch on our turf. then the last [when the Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in 2020]For me, he’s the one who blew us. This is what I took. We blew it. It was in the bubble. Anything can happen in the bubble. There is no home court. The seventh game will be in Los Angeles.
“But, it just happens. So I would say with me, some… I should always do better. I always take my own responsibility. And then, some circumstances happen. That, let’s win it, and we don’t have to talk about it.” “.
In 2003, Rivers and the Orlando Magic — led by future Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, who won the scoring title that season — advanced 3-1 over the top-seeded Pistons. This was the first season that the NBA returned to its best seven-round streak. Famously, McGrady—who didn’t make the first round of the playoffs until the end of his career with San Antonio—said after winning Game 4 to take that 3-1 lead, “It feels good to get into the second round.”
Detroit immediately won the next three games on 61 points to effectively move into the second round, eventually losing to the New Jersey Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals before winning the NBA title the following season.
In 2015, Rivers led 3-1, incidentally, over the current point guard 76ers James Harden and chief of basketball operations Daryl Morey, both of whom were at the time with the Houston Rockets, losing the last three games of that series. This included a stunning home crash in Game Six, when Houston outplayed the Clippers 40-15 (often with Harden watching from the bench) to turn what had been a 13-point deficit early in the quarter into a 12-point win, before closing the series in Game 7.
As Rivers said, losing in 2020 is the most unforgettable one. Clippers – Led Kohi Leonard And Paul Georgewhich they had last summer, and the choice by many to win the championship – took a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets, only to blast two double-digit advances in each of the series’ last three games to be sent home from the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resort Out of Orlando, Florida, in a really horrible way.
For now, though, the 76ers are just trying to avoid adding to their already rough history. Just last year, the 76ers blew a 26-point lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference series with the Atlanta Hawks — before losing again on their home field in Game 7 in the game that Ben Simmons He died by open immersion in the late fourth quarter, beginning his way to leave Philadelphia for good.
So far in this series, the 76ers defeated Toronto in the first two games, slipped an additional victory behind Joel Embiid’s championships in Game 3, then watched the Raptors more or less control games 4 and 5. One team to shut down another team but after the series rocked, both teams know What they have to do to win Game Six.
“Being 3-0 ahead, especially 3-0, I would say that [teams feel differently]”A lot of teams don’t win those games,” Rivers said. “Only the Celtics have won that game. [in the first round of this year’s playoffs]. Everyone lost that game.
“From a coaching standpoint, you hate it, because you feel like, ‘Let’s just take care of it. “Then I got to Game 5 last night and they were playing better. We didn’t play well. We didn’t play with a sense of urgency. So now obviously, I think both teams got some kind of notice and both teams have the other team’s attention.
“If you don’t have it, we’re all in trouble.”
When asked what it would take to make things go differently in Game 6, Rivers noted the speed with which 76 players played — particularly offensively — in the first two games and said Philadelphia would need to get back to that if they wanted to. Shut down Toronto and avoid returning to Game 7 Do or Die Saturday night.
“Well, I still think the number one thing is 63% of the time we got the ball out of bounds in the last game,” Rivers said. “That means 37% of the time you bring the ball up after a basket made or a free throw or something like that. That obviously has to be better.
“We have to get more stops, because they don’t run… they run when they can, but when they don’t, they use the clock to 22 seconds. So the game is a slow-paced game and a half-court match. So the two things: No. 1, We have to get more stops; No. 2, when we get the stops and even when we score goals, we have to play at a better pace. We’re driving the ball up the court.”
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