The Philadelphia 76ers thought they emptied any epic collapse from their system by blowing an 18-point lead in their Game 4 playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks Monday night. But then Game 5 rolled around, and the Sixers offered a detailed tutorial on how to blow a playoff lead.
Wednesday night, the Sixers were up by 26 points with just over 15 minutes left in the game. A seemingly insurmountable deficit for the Hawks to overcome. No one would have even blamed Hawks head coach Nate McMillan for waving the white flag and pulling their starters to get ready for Game 6 Friday night.
Instead, the Hawks went on an extraordinary 51-23 run and closed the game by outscoring the Sixers 15-2, led by 39 points from Trae Young. After trailing 83-58 late in the third quarter, the Hawks won their pivotal Game 5 matchup 109-106. Philly’s 26-point blown lead marked the third largest NBA playoff collapse in the last 25 years.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers ripped his team after their Game 4 loss, stating it’s hard to win when “the other team outworks you the whole f*cking game.” And when his team responded with an even worse defeat, social media started finger-pointing at Rivers. After winning an NBA Championship with a loaded Boston Celtics roster in 2008, Rivers has repeatedly overseen bad playoff losses in the last 13 years.
Doc Rivers game plan pic.twitter.com/0Nzk1yTHtw
— $noozin (@snoozintbh) June 17, 2021
This is unbelievable. Unbelievable. Doc Rivers has been a part of some incredible collapses but this is … wow
— Kazeem Famuyide 🍎 (@Kazeem) June 17, 2021
This is the 6th inexplicable 2nd round loss for Doc Rivers in a row
— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) June 17, 2021
Doc Rivers’ Playoff History since winning title with 4 HOFs in Boston: pic.twitter.com/ibIaEFH6hI
— Giants Daily (@NYGDaily) June 17, 2021
Sixers with Brett Brown vs. Sixers with Doc Rivers pic.twitter.com/AgNbdKpNI1
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) June 17, 2021
Doc Rivers the most overrated coach in NBA History
— Los 🍇 (@LosPollosTV) June 17, 2021
👀 @kevinarnovitz: “A snakebitten Doc Rivers has now presided over five of the eight largest blown leads in the past two postseasons.”
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) June 17, 2021
Sixers regurgitated 26-point lead—at home—in losing Game 5 to Hawks. Putin could blow election with Doc Rivers as campaign manager.
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 17, 2021
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