Joel Embiid & Amir Johnson Address Phone On The Bench Scandal

NBA playoffs Nets and Magic stun high-seeds 76ers and Raptors

They played like they belonged in the postseason, despite not clinching their spot until the final week of the regular season.

The Nets held Ben Simmons, J.J. Listen, I know we have to stay humble. And they talk about the areas the Sixers must improve upon before Game 2.

After the disappointing setback, a frustrated Simmons took aim at the dissenting voices.

In just four minutes, their 65-64 halftime lead had turned into an 86-66 lead thanks to a 21-2 run. It is unlikely Joel Embiid will improve his stamina that quickly. Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points and fellow reserve Lou Williams contributed 25 points and nine assists as Los Angeles returned to the playoffs after missing last season following six straight appearances. Nikola Jokic had a triple-double with 14 assists, 14 rebounds and 10 points, but I think he needs to attack more as a scorer for Denver to make real headway offensively.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its National Basketball Association picks. PF Tobias Harris was the game's biggest disappointment as he finished with just four points on 2-for-7 from the field. For a team that made an average of 10.8 threes per game during the regular season, The Nets holding them to only three treys is a fantastic accomplishment. Maybe he doesn't need to outplay high school teammate Russell, but the 76ers probably can't afford for LeVert (23 points) and Spencer Dinwiddie (18) to outplay him, too.

Having a reliable bench is great, especially when the 76ers' depth is widely considered to be their biggest weakness. Philly obviously needs him on the floor, but this series has the potential to go beyond five games, so the Sixers need to play it smart with him as well.

More news: Barr to AOC: Apologize before you come to Kentucky

And speaking of the bench, how good has Boban Marjanovic been during the first two games of the series?

The series now heads up to Brooklyn for Game 3 Thursday tied, 1-1. It's either find a way to give him help so he can jog back on defense or watch the same scenario play out Monday. The Sixers aren't likely going to panic, but a loss in the first game of a series they're heavily favored to win was surely a wake-up call. "Hopefully, I'll feel better and gain a couple more of my athletic abilities so I can be down on the block, but that's got to start just be physical starting with me".

Grabbed 10 offensive rebounds the first game, but gave up 16 to the 76ers. Curry shot 8 for 12 from deep to pass Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3s with 386, had a postseason career-high 15 rebounds, seven assists and the 31st 30-point postseason performance of his career.

The Nets had their hands full matching up with Embiid and it was a whole different nightmare with Marjanovic, who exploited their smaller lineups early, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the first half.

Philadelphia took a 116-87 lead into the fourth after Scott hit a buzzer-beating jumper. They show us love. Russell is clearly the Brooklyn Nets best player.

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