Roob’s Observations: 9 nightmarish Game 1 stats (and 1 good one) originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
They made it close. They finished strong. For a while there they even made it fun.
Another couple baskets and we’d all be happy right now, and all these stats would be very different.
Despite the 4th-quarter excitement, it goes down as a 128-124 loss.
So here are 9 nightmarish stats (and one good one) from the 76ers’ loss to the Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
TERRIBLE START: The Hawks outscored the Sixers 42-27 in the first quarter, one of the worst postseason first quarters in franchise history. It’s only the sixth time in 453 playoff games the 76ers have been outscored by at least 15 points in a first quarter and the first time since 2008, when they trailed the Pistons by 18 points (30-12) in the first quarter on the way to a 100-77 1st-round home loss that eliminated the 76ers. The Sixers are now 0-6 in the playoffs when they trail by 15 or more after the first quarter.
WHERE’S THE DEFENSE? The Pistons’ 42 1st-quarter points are the most the 76ers have ever allowed in a postseason first quarter. The previous record was 41 (they scored 43) in a 125-122 win for the Wilt Chamberlain 76ers over Rick Barry and the San Francisco Warriors, the game that gave the 76ers the 1967 NBA title. The 42 points are the 5th-most the 76ers have ever allowed in any postseason quarter and the most since 2002, when the Celtics scored 43 in the fourth quarter of a 120-87 win at Boston Garden that eliminated the 76ers in their 1st-round series.
74 POINTS? REALLY? The Hawks’ 74 1st-half points are the 7th-most in NBA history allowed by a home team in the postseason, and the 76ers became only the third team in NBA history to allow 74 1st-half points at home while trailing by 20 or more points (and only the second in the last 50 years). The 76ers have only allowed 74 or more points and trailed by 20 three times in franchise history in the regular season and only once in the last 50 years (in a 141-118 “Trust the Process” loss to the Nets in 2017). The 74 points are also the 2nd-most ever by any team in an Eastern Conference semifinal round game and the most in 49 years. The Celtics scored 76 on their way to a 127-118 win over the Hawks in eliminating the Hawks in Game 6 of their series in 1972.
TRAE’S DAY: Trae Young’s 25 1st-half points are the 5th-most ever against the 76ers in the first half of a postseason game and the 2nd-most ever in Philadelphia. Reggie Miller scored 33 in 2001 in Game 2 of the 76ers-Pacers 1st-round series. Young became only the fourth player ever with at least 35 points and eight assists in a playoff game against the 76ers and the first in 30 years. Oscar Robertson had two such games in 1963 and 1965, John Havlicek had a 35-11 game in 1968 and Michael Jordan a 45-11 game in 1990.
BIG FOURTH QUARTER: The 76ers’ 41 points are the 4th-most in franchise history in the fourth quarter of a playoff game and the most since they scored 46 in a 2001 game loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee. Wasn’t quite enough.
MORE BEN, MORE FOUL SHOTS: Simmons was 3-for-10 from the foul line, becoming the first Sixer since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to attempt 10 or more foul shots in a playoff game and make 30 percent or worse. Wilt did it three times in 1968 (and twice in 1967). No other 76er has ever had such a performance. Simmons is now 13-for-38 from the line this postseason for 34.2 percent. Only three players in NBA history have shot worse from the foul line in a postseason (minimum 30 attempts): Dale Davis in 1994 (30.6 percent), Ben Wallace in 2006 (27.3 percent) and Andre Drummond in 2016 (32.4 percent).
BOMBING AWAY: The Hawks’ 20 3’s are the most ever in a playoff game against the 76ers. The Celtics made 19 twice – in 2002 and 2020, both times in Boston. The most an opposing team had ever previously made in Philadelphia is 15, which the Nets did in 2002 and again in 2019. Only nine teams in NBA history have ever allowed more 3’s in a postseason game at home.
FREE THROW DISPARITY: The Hawks shot 95.2 percent from the line (20-for-21) and the 76ers shot 68.6 percent (24-for-35). The only other time the 76ers shot worse than 70 percent in a playoff game and their opponent shot better than 95 percent was against the Celtics in 1977. The Celtics shot 96.4 percent (27-for-28) and the 76ers shot 69.2 percent (27-for-39). The Celtics won by two.
LOSING AT THE LINE: The 76ers are shooting 70.1 percent from the foul line so far this postseason (129-for-184). That would be their lowest in any postseason since they shot 67.9 percent in 1970.
WE PROMISED A POSITIVE STAT: Joel Embiid finished with 39 and nine rebounds, the first 76er with 39 and 9 in a playoff game since Charles Barkley had a 39-9 game against the Bucks in 1987. The only other 76ers with 39 and 9 in a postseason game are Wilt Chamberlain and Dolph Schayes twice each and Julius Irving and Billy Cunningham once each.
BEN STILL CAN’T MAKE A FOUL SHOT: Ben Simmons was 1-for-6 from the foul line after going 0-for-6 in Game 1 against the Wizards. He’s only the third player in NBA history with two games in a single postseason with at least five free throw attempts and 20 percent or worse from the line. Shaquille O’Neal had seven such games in 2005-06 and Wilt Chamberlain had three in 1970. At least Ben’s in good company. Ben also had a 1-for-5 game from the line in 2019 against the Nets. The only other players with more career 20 percent playoff games from the foul line are current teammate Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, with four each.