Quotebook | Focused for Game 2
After falling to Brooklyn in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, the 76ers are looking straight ahead, ready to adjust and respond in Game 2 on Monday.
Upon regrouping for practice Sunday afternoon, the team identified areas for improvement.
Here’s what’s been said in the aftermath of Game 1:
Though Joel Embiid (22 pts, 14 reb, 4 ast, 5 blk) was listed as doubtful (knee) until game time Saturday, he still managed to play. Postgame, Embiid said he expects Game 2 to be different:
“I think, we’ve got to be extremely physical. 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. Jimmy [Butler] did a great job today attacking. We couldn’t back him up so Monday we’ve got to do a better job.”
Jimmy Butler notched a playoff career-high 36 points Saturday, along with nine boards, two steals, and two blocks. For as productive as he was Game 1, Butler is hopeful Game 2 yields a change in fortune:
“I just think we’ve got to guard better. I think you’ve got to man up and guard one-on-one. I think that’s what it’s going to come down to in this series. The one after that, the one after that, and the one after that. You know, whoever it may be, myself included, you’ve got to man up and you’ve got to stand in front of your man and try to get a stop.”
At practice, Ben Simmons (9 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk) said he knows the team can improve when it comes to intensity on both ends of the court, adding that he’s ready to step up and take control:
“Just staying aggressive, attacking downhill, and making them make tough plays. I think sometimes, I have to take it upon myself to just go to the rim and protect.”
As he has many times throughout the season, Brett Brown said that come what may, the Sixers’ spirit is strong and steady.. He highlighted his team’s togetherness in the aftermath of the loss at Sunday’s practice:
“Form, spirit, health, land the plane. I think our spirit’s been good for a while. And that’s a tremendous sign, but it’s not anything other than a competitive spirit. It’s certainly not any level of an acceptance spirit. Nobody accepts what happened [Saturday].”
Game 2 tips off Monday at 8:30, when the Sixers will have another opportunity to defend home court before the series heads to Brooklyn.