The Philadelphia 76ers had high expectations in the 2021 playoffs as they were the No. 1 seed in the conference for the first time in 20 years and they were looking to take advantage and get to the NBA finals.
Unfortunately, the playoff run can be looked at as a huge missed opportunity.
Philadelphia fell in Game 7 at home to the Atlanta Hawks in the East semifinals. They had huge leads in both Game 4 and Game 5 in the series and the Sixers were just not able to put the series away.
As the team began training camp on Tuesday, coach Doc Rivers had the team watch the Game 7 loss again for them to learn a lesson from the loss.
“I just thought it was a good teacher,” Rivers told reporters on Tuesday after practice. “It’s not a rehash, it’s a very positive experience, but I just thought that it’s still learning this team is still together and wanting to point out the things we talked about the whole year, that will come back and get you in a lot of instances came back and got us.”
For Seth Curry, the real lessons came before that final game. The Sixers were on their way to win both Game 4 and Game 5 of that series before they blew it and they had to eventually go to that seventh game and they let an opportunity slip away.
“Obviously, anything can happen in a game 7,” he explained. “I’ve always been more disappointed in Games 4 and 5, personally. We shouldn’t have got to that point. Anything can happen so I already had enough motivation as far as that and I know what happened last year.”
Tobias Harris, who had 24 points in the game, but he missed a few bunnies that probably would have made a difference in the game, lamented on what the team failed to do in Game 7.
“We just saw a lot of areas where we let slip away,” said Harris. “A few mental mistakes that we had there, shots that could’ve went in. I think we saw the intensity it took, defensively, throughout the fourth quarter. Watching the fourth quarter was a big emphasis on doing all the things that help you win, and whether that’s setting the screen or making a cut or running as hard as you can, all those things. Those things start right now in training camp, go all the way through the year, because these habits are what comes out in big time games through the year.”
Rivers seemed to echo Harris a bit as he saw a lot of similar things when watching the film again. All of the little mistakes the Sixers made added up and it’s something that will have to be used as a lesson in the coming season.
“We had some bad turnovers, we fouled two shooters in the fourth quarter,” Rivers added. “Twice, we gambled in the backcourt that let the lead to 3s. In big games, self-inflicted wounds will get you and then something we preached all year.”
Philadelphia will play their first preseason game on Monday against the Toronto Raptors.
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Source: Yahoo Sports