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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2. Sixers’ Bench Needs to Wake Up

For the Sixers to have any shot to win Game 3, let alone this series, the bench will need to wake up and do something positive.

One of the main storylines from Game 1 was how the Knicks’ bench outplayed the Sixers as Philly had no answer for Deuce McBride (21 points) and Bojan Bogdanovic (13 points). And we also can’t forget about Mitchell Robinson, who almost had a double-double with eight points and 12 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Sixers’ bench only mustered seven points (Nicolas Batum – 3, Paul Reed – 4) in Game 1. Then in Game 2, Philly’s bench was non-existent as they scored 10 points, with Batum leading the way with six points.

New York’s bench didn’t go off as they did in Game 1, producing 16 points. However, the Knicks still had a +6 margin, which helped them keep the game close and take the lead at one point in the second half.

The good news for Philly is that role players play better at home, so maybe Reed, Batum, and Hield can get back on track. Hield has been a no-show throughout the first two games, scoring two total points in 26 minutes off the bench.

If the veteran sharpshooter isn’t throwing up shots or looking to score, Nick Nurse might have to think about giving some minutes to Cam Payne, who has a knack for scoring. The Sixers cannot continue to depend on Embiid and Maxey to hold down the fort. 

Philly needs a reliable third-scoring option (Harris, Kelly Oubre Jr., or Kyle Lowry) and someone off the bench, who can have a Josh Hart moment.