The Philadelphia 76ers are still alive as they were able to overcome the Boston Celtics in Game 4 on Sunday. James Harden delivered another virtuoso performance as he had 42 points on 16-for-23 shooting and he was able to help the Sixers avoid a collapse.
With the series now shifting back to TD Garden for Game 5, this is a 2-2 series and Philadelphia has its chance to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001. There is still plenty of work to be done, but the Sixers have a good chance to get it.
However, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is not convinced they will get it done as he hopped on “First Take” to say this:
I don’t believe they can win the title. I don’t believe that. Okay. You know why I don’t believe that? Because I don’t believe they’re gonna beat Boston. That’s why. I don’t even get to Miami and New York. I don’t think they’re gonna beat Boston. I’m watching a Boston Celtics squad that’s making a myriad of mistakes that seems out of character, that’s depending too reliant on the 3-point shot, and then I watched a timeout take place yesterday, and Mazzulla said there’s another level we could go to defensively, you know? We got to do it and they put the clamps on the Sixers and came storming back and took the lead. I watched Marcus Smart make plays. I watched Al Horford record not one, but two blocks on Embiid. I watched Joel Embiid throwing pump fakes and being hesitant to go up because Al Horford was defending against them. That’s what I saw! And I’m like, wait a minute now. I watched Jayson Tatum have a couple of blocks. I’m just saying, the Boston Celtics to me are the better team. I got love for Philly, wouldn’t be mad at all in Philly won, rooting for Doc Rivers, my man, my brother loving to death, but I just feel like listening yesterday, as was rather the case in Game 1 was an aberration . I see the Boston Celtics winning this series. Do I believe James Harden makes me believe the Sixers can win a title? No because I don’t know what Game 1 and Game 4, you will see that the rest of this way and that’s respect to James Harden because I’m very proud of what I saw from him, and he deserves respect and props, but I don’t believe that’s happening again.
Time will tell whether the Sixers will be able to get it done. Logic says the Celtics, who have been through every playoff battle imaginable, will overcome the Sixers and win this series.
However, Harden and Joel Embiid are ready to get over the hump and get the job done in this series. It will be interesting to see how this series continues to evolve.
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire