Stephen A. Smith blasts Sixers for poor effort in Game 5 loss to Heat

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The Philadelphia 76ers had a chance to take control of their second-round series when they paid another trip to South Florida to take on the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. The Sixers had just won two games at home to climb back into the series and it seemed like a great opportunity for them.

Instead, the Heat throttled them by a score of 120-85 and now Philadelphia faces elimination in Game 6 on Thursday back at home. Joel Embiid is battling so hard through a torn ligament in his right thumb as well as a facial fracture and he’s coming off a concussion. Give him credit for fighting, but he is clearly not himself right now.

After the lackluster performance, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith blasted the Sixers on “First Take”:

Them brothers looked like they were partying in South Beach the night before. Now we know that wasn’t the case. I’m not accusing them of that. I’m saying that’s how they looked. They looked like they were hanging out and they were chillin and they had a very laissez faire attitude and they came out there with absolutely, positively nothing. They got outscored by 12 in the first quarter. They got outscored by 20 in the fourth quarter and along the way, they were fluctuating between a 10 point deficit to an 18/19 point deficit before they flat out got their ass kicked in the second half. I mean, this was embarrassing.

Smith gave pity to coach Doc Rivers who will most likely be the scapegoat if Philadelphia loses this series:

The reason why it hits me home is because you and I both know how we feel about Doc Rivers and we know how we feel what a great coach he is. They played so badly last night in terms of their lethargy, their lack of energy and effort and zest. They played so bad that if they lose Game 6, Kendrick Perkins, we both know who’s the first person that’s going to suffer. It’s probably going to be Doc. I don’t wanna hear about no money. I don’t want to hear about the money they owe him or whatever. They’ll find a way to wiggle themselves around that and they’re going to get rid of Doc Rivers and he’s the scapegoat and for this man to be coaching this team is greater than coach—I don’t care about the 3-1 deficits he lost. The bottom line is Doc Rivers is one of the top 15 coaches in history. This brother can coach okay? The fact is, is he’s going to be the scapegoat for this horrible, lackluster, lethargic effort that they put forth last night. They should be ashamed of themselves. I’m telling you right now they better show up in Game 6 and they better play because Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia, is going to hold them accountable. It’s not their performance. It was the effort that was sorely lacking last night. It was shameful.

As the Sixers prepare for Game 6, they will absolutely have to be better than they were in Miami. They have proven they can win in this series, but it will be another really tall task for them against a deep and talented Heat team looking to close them out.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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