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The Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks had fought hard all series and it came down to just one final game in South Philadelphia for a spot in the Eastern Conference finals and a date with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Sixers had the momentum after going into Atlanta and forcing this winner take all Game 7 and the Wells Fargo Center was rocking.

However, Philadelphia could not use it to its advantage. This time, it was not Trae Young who really burned the Sixers, it was Kevin Huerter. The young man from Maryland scored 27 points with seven rebounds as the Hawks eliminated the Sixers with a 103-96 win in Game 7. Atlanta will face Milwaukee in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 31 points and 11 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 24 points and 14 rebounds, Seth Curry added 16, and Ben Simmons had five points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds. All in all, the effort just was not enough to get it done in this one.

Here are the observations from the season-ending loss:

Defense on Young

The Sixers did a really good job of flattening Young out in this one. There were so many times where he tried to get to the basket off Atlanta’s double-drag screen action, but he could not due to the discipline that the Sixers showed on those plays. He was met with a wall of defenders every time he tried to turn the corner and he was not able to get many clean looks. The problem with that is the attention that Young received meant more open opportunities for Kevin Huerter to have a big game. Furkan Korkmaz could not stay in front of him and Huerter did a really solid of taking him to his spots and getting off good looks. That also meant Danilo Gallinari, Clint Capela, and John Collins got their looks as well. This is where Philadelphia really misses Danny Green due to his defense and his leadership out on the floor.

Embiid’s effort

The Hawks have doubled Embiid pretty consistently throughout this series, but in this one, they sent them in different ways. There was one possession in the first quarter where they sent the double from the baseline ands they sort of forced him to the free-throw line where he settled for a contested jumper. They seemed to tire the big fella out a bit in the early going as he was subbed out earlier than usual, but he did come back in sooner than he does as well. That’s what a Game 7 situation calls for. It did appear that Embiid seemed to force a lot of the issue in this one. It is understandable considering the circumstance of it being Game 7 and everything, but there were times where he needed to calm down and just play within the offense. He committed a lot of turnovers and he settled a lot as well. When he got taken out in the third quarter, he got a big talking to from coach Doc Rivers to try and get him going for the crunch time of this one. Whatever was said to him, it worked. He had a huge fourth quarter when it mattered the most. However, it just was not enough and he did commit a turnover late that sealed their fate.

Ball movement assessment

This is always a big thing for Philadelphia on offense. When the ball is whipping around the perimeter, they are able to find open looks and everybody is in rhythm. That was not in the case in the early going in this one as the Sixers played a lot of isolation basketball led by Embiid down low. It looked like everybody was trying to win this game on their own and played some hero ball and it led to a few bad turnovers that the Hawks were able to convert into points. The Sixers committed 10 turnovers in the first half as they found themselves trailing by two at the half. The ball movement did pick up as the game went along. There were a few possessions in the second quarter where Simmons was able to get Curry some open looks and Curry returned the favor when he drove the paint and found Simmons in the dunker spot for a jam. The big thing is, Simmons was not able to get into the paint and facilitate from there because the Hawks walled it off all game long. As they move on to the offseason and the future, Simmons is going to have to find a way to get to the paint and be aggressive in the playoffs. Their offense depends on it and that is going to require him to be much more aggressive and. For him to only take four shots in a Game 7 is inexcusable.