10 catastrophic stats as 76ers go out with a whimper originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
That was ugly. That was painful. That was brutal.
And we’re here to let you know just exactly how ugly, painful and brutal it was.
It wasn’t that close. The Heat led by 18 with 4:09 left. The 76ers made a few meaningless shots down the stretch that made the final score somewhat respectable (if losing by nine at home in an elimination game is respectable) and ruined some of my stats. But that’s OK. There are plenty to go around.
So here is the final installment of this year’s Roob’s 76ers Playoff Stats.
NOT EVEN COMPETITIVE: The 76ers’ four losses in the Heat series were by an average of 18.5 points. That’s the largest margin of victory ever by any team in a best-of-seven series against the 76ers. The previous high came in 1971, when the Celtics averaged 17.8 points per win in their Eastern Division Finals win over the Syracuse Nationals.
ANOTHER YEAR OF DISAPPOINTMENT: The 76ers have now failed to reach the conference championship round the last 12 times they’ve reached the playoffs. That’s the 3rd-longest streak in NBA history of reaching the postseason but not reaching at least the conference semifinal round. The Hawks somehow reached the postseason 28 straight times from 1971 through 2015 without reaching the Eastern Conference Championship round, and the Clippers reached the postseason 15 straight times from 1974 through 2020 without reaching the Western Conference finals. The 76ers have lost six consecutive conference semifinal rounds since beating the Bucks in 2001.
HARDEN’S HISTORIC SECOND HALF: The 76ers have played 2,208 regular-season and postseason games in the 26 years since the start of the 1996-1997 season, which is as far back as Stathead’s player quarter finder goes. In those 2,208 games, they’ve had exactly two players who’ve played 23 or more minutes in a second half, gone scoreless and committed three or more turnovers. One is Allen Iverson in a 2000 regular-season game against the Lakers. But at least he went out blazing – he was 0-for-11 in that game. The other is James Harden on Thursday night. There have been 4,062 postseason games since 1996, and Harden is the only NBA player in that 26-year span to fail to score in a second half while committing at least three turnovers in at least 23 minutes. Harden’s fourth quarter: 0-for-2 from the field, 0-for-2 from 3, 0-for-0 from the foul line, four assists, two rebounds, three turnovers. Zero points.
HOW CAN HARDEN BE THIS BAD? In the second half of the six games against the Heat, Harden had more turnovers (11) than baskets (9). He scored four or fewer 2nd-half points in five of the six games (4, 4, 2, 18, 4, 0) and shot 28 percent from the field (9-for-32) after halftime vs. Miami. He only made more than one basket in the second half of one of the six games.
ONE MORE HARDEN EMBARRASSMENT: Harden shot 40.5 percent from the field this postseason on 13.7 shots per game and averaged 4.2 turnovers per game. He’s only the fourth player in NBA history to shoot worse than 41 percent, average over 13 attempts per game and commit 4.0 or more turnovers per game in a postseason in which he played in more than one series. The others are Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd and Russell Westbrook. Harden has had two other postseasons where he’s shot below 41 percent and averaged 4 turnovers per game, with the Rockets in 2013 and 2016. Harden, Westbrook and Pierce are the only players in history with three such postseasons. Harden is also one of only five players in NBA history to average 3 ½ turnovers per game and shoot worse than 43 percent in his playoff career (the others are Trae Young, Westbrook, John Wall and John Williamson).
HE USED TO BE OURS: Jimmy Butler averaged 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the series. He’s the first player to hit those averages in a postseason series against the 76ers in 58 years – since Oscar Robertson did it. The Big O averaged 30.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists in the Cincinnati Royals’ five-game win over the 76ers in the 1964 Eastern Division Semifinal round. But Butler is the only one ever to hit those milestones while shooting 55 percent from the field. Robertson shot 53.6 percent.
SHAKE IT UP: In the second half, Shake Milton shot 6-for-7 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3. The entire rest of the 76ers’ roster shot 12-for-35 from the field and 1-for-13 from 3 in the second half. Milton had 15 points, 2 steals, 2 assists and a block after halftime. The last 76er to do that in a playoff game was Allen Iverson against the Magic in 1999.
LIVING AND DYING BY THE 3: When the 76ers shot 42 percent or better from 3 this postseason they were 6-0. When they didn’t, they were 0-6. They shot 46 percent from 3-point range in their six wins (91-for-199) and 29 percent in their six losses (58-for-201).
NOTHING BUT RIM: In the last 20 years, the 76ers have had three players take at least five 3’s in the second half of a playoff game and miss them all. All three were in the Miami series: Georges Niang 0-5 in Game 1, Danny Green 0-for-6 in Game 2 and Joel Embiid 0-for-5 in Game 6. Embiid shot 21 percent from 3 this postseason on 7-for-33. That’s second-worst in 76ers history with a minimum of 20 attempts. Lou Williams shot 17 percent on 8-for-48 in 2012.
LET’S FINISH WITH A POSITIVE: Tyrese Maxey made 47 of 50 foul shots this postseason for 94.0 percent. That’s the highest in 76ers history with a minimum of 35 free throws. The previous high was Hersey Hawkins’ 93.7 percent on 59-for-63 in 1990. In NBA history, only eight other players have shot 94 percent in a postseason on 50 or more attempts (Bill Sharman, Calvin Murphy, Peja Stojaković, Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul George and Steph Curry).