The Philadelphia 76ers had one of the worst playoff meltdowns ever when they played the Celtics in game seven of the 2023 Eastern Conference semifinals. It was heartbreaking for their fans but at least they’re used to it. That’s because the Sixers are arguably the biggest playoff chokers in NBA history. After all, they’ve turned losing into an art form.
Let’s look at the embarrassing moments from this game and the reasons why they’re the league’s biggest playoff chokers. We’ll focus on their underperforming mega-stars and bizarre coaching decisions. They need a cultural change but nobody knows where it will come from if it ever does at all. Perhaps firing underachieving coach Doc Rivers was necessary, but that’s just a start.
James Harden is justifiably catching more flak for his horrible performance than NBA MVP Joel Embiid. That’s fair because Harden didn’t do anything in Game Seven and can be incredibly inconsistent. But there are questions over Embiid’s ability to perform in the playoffs. Their horrific loss to the Celtics meant that he moved to 0-3 in career Game Sevens.
Some people will scoff and say that Embiid was unlucky but there are a lot of questions. The Sixers invested a lot of time and money in their Cameroonian star. But now they’re the NBA’s biggest playoff chokers and took a backward step. Now they must reevaluate the way they’ve constructed the team around him (via Clutchpoints).