After winning just 28 games a year ago, the Sixers finished the regular season with 52 wins and won a playoff series for the first time since 2012.
Embiid, in particular, seemed to relish the back-and-forth, engaging with the crowd during an 11-point, five-rebound, two-assist, two-block third quarter that saw Philly roar back from an 11-point deficit to close within a point.
"When they act like that and say that I suck, I just want to show them that, you know, I don't", Embiid said of playing in front of a hostile crowd.
As we always post in our mobile app (iOS/Android), here are grades and breakdowns for each Sixers player's performance and Brett Brown's coaching in the 114-112 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5.
Some observers didn't even expect the Sixers, a league laughingstock during their rebuild, to reach the playoffs this season.
This provided the 76ers with a chance to win with a desperation 3-pointer.
It did not pan out quite as the 76ers had hoped, but Embiid insists the future is bright for a talented and youthful Philadelphia side.
While the Cleveland Cavaliers - the favorites to beat the Celtics and go to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season - still might represent "the now" as it relates to the NBA landscape, in large because LeBron James remains the best player on the planet, Boston and Philadelphia both are on the rise. But by pairing Embiid with 2016 No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, Philadelphia found a young one-two punch as intimidating as any in the National Basketball Association. "But we committed a lot of mistakes".
"Coming into this building, arena the fans are wonderful here", Simmons said. "He is taking the challenge defensively, he is our rim protector every night and I'm just so happy for him to see him have success at this level". "I feel like I had a lot more to go".
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