76ers’ Radio Host Calls Out Team Around Joel Embiid

Kelly Oubre Jr., Tobias Harris, Nicolas Batum, 76ers, NBA Playoffs
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers suffered a brutal loss in Game 1 vs the New York Knicks in their first-round series of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. Despite Joel Embiid looking to have injured his left knee again in the second quarter, the team was in a position to win late.

The 76ers were dominant in the first and third quarters, outscoring the Knicks 70-46 in the odd quarters. Normally, that kind of performance would lead to a victory, especially with New York’s star point guard Jalen Brunson being held in check.

Getting out to a 1-0 series lead and stealing homecourt advantage would have been huge for the 76ers. It is only a matter of time until Brunson gets going and with Embiid hobbled, going ahead in the series would have been big for the team.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Nicolas Batum, Paul Reed, Buddy Hield, Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Unfortunately, despite Embiid showing a lot of heart getting back on the court and Tyrese Maxey having a huge game, it wasn’t enough to get a win. New York outscored Philadelphia 65-34 in the even quarters, coming away with a 111-104 victory.

That has led to some passionate reactions from people around the NBA and basketball world. One person who shared a strong opinion on the outcome was Bill Colarulo of 97.5 The Fanatic, a Philadelphia radio station.

Colarulo was frustrated with how poorly the supporting cast, namely the bench unit, played in Game 1. He doesn’t believe any blame for the loss should be placed on Embiid, with the blame solely being on the bench.

“The supporting cast let Joel Embiid down last night. Joel Embiid didn’t lose this game for the 76ers. He gave it his all,” Colarulo said.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Nicolas Batum, Paul Reed, Buddy Hield, Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

The game turned upside down for the 76ers once the bench units were mixed in. Miles McBride, Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson were excellent for the Knicks, as all three finished with a plus/minus ratio of at least +20.

For Philadelphia, the best plus/minus off the bench for someone in the rotation was -16 by Buddy Hield in 11 minutes. Nicolas Batum was -20 in 26 minutes and Paul Reed was -21 in his 11:27 of playing time.

That kind of production from the second unit just isn’t going to cut it. If the 76ers want to make a run in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, they will need those players to step up as the starting five cannot win a game by themselves.

Game 1 is a prime example of that. That unit could not have played a better game, as they executed the game plan flawlessly. But, for how well they played, the bench was the polar opposite, resulting in a tough loss to open the series.

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