3 Things the 76ers Must Do in Game 3 to Get First Series Win

The Philadelphia 76ers have some work to do if they want to climb out of a 0-2 deficit against the New York Knicks.
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) look up
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) look up / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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After losing Game 2 on Monday night in unfathomable fashion against the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers are now down 2-0 in the first round of the NBA playoffs and are in must-win territory for Game 3 on Thursday night.

The Sixers looked poised to tie the series up at 1-1 on Monday night after All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey knocked down a clutch three-point with 1:09 left in the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia a four-point lead.

However, the Sixers couldn’t complete the job as a series of unfortunate events took place in the last minute of the final frame, capped off by a Donte DiVincenzo game-winning three-pointer from the top of the key.

Philadelphia did a much better job on the boards and kept Knicks All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson in check. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the things cost them. At the same time, the series isn’t over for the Sixers as they have two games at the Wells Fargo Center. 

It won’t be easy for them to climb out of this 0-2 deficit after how Game 2 ended, but there are a few things they can carry over from Monday night to help them on Thursday night.

1. Sixers Must Stay Competitive on the Boards

Philadelphia got crushed on the glass in Game 1 (insert stats), especially on the offensive glass (insert stats), which led to numerous second-chance opportunities and helped the Knicks win.

After showing no effort on the glass to open the first-round series, the Sixers did a much better job of rebounding in Game 2 as they cut the deficit to two (44-46). Reigning MVP Joel Embiid had 10 rebounds, while the starting backcourt of Maxey and Kyle Lowry had 15 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Tobias Harris, who wasn’t much of a factor in Game 1, had nine rebounds for the second-straight game, including two on the offensive end. The Sixers had 10 boards on the offensive glass, while the Knicks grabbed 12 boards.

In Game 1, the Knicks were +14 on the offensive glass (23-9), so seeing Philadelphia be more active on the boards is a good sign for Game 3. 

Finally, here’s another thing to remember, the Sixers were +6 in defensive box outs (10-4) and +5 in box outs (11-5) in Game 2. They couldn’t get the crucial box outs when it mattered the most, but they cannot stop doing it in Game 3.