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CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers practiced right here Wednesday morning forward of a return to Toronto for Recreation 6 of their Jap Convention first-round playoff sequence in opposition to the Raptors on Thursday evening, midway to what could be an unprecedented collapse after taking a 3-0 lead on this best-of-seven sequence.

76ers coach Doc Rivers is the one coach to preside over multiple loss after taking a 3-1 sequence lead — one thing that has occurred to him 3 times in his profession. However when Rivers was requested about that playoff historical past Wednesday, he mentioned there is a want to return and verify the file.

“Properly, it is easy to make use of me for example,” Rivers mentioned after the group completed apply. “However I want y’all would inform the entire story with me. All proper?

“My Orlando group [in 2003] was the eighth seed. Nobody provides me credit score for getting up in opposition to the [Detroit] Pistons, who gained the title. That was an eighth seed. I would like you to return and have a look at that roster. I dare you to return and have a look at that roster. And you’ll say, ‘What a hell of a training job.’ Actually.

“I imply, the Clipper group [in 2015] that we misplaced 3-1, Chris Paul did not play the primary two video games, and was enjoying on one leg, and we did not have dwelling courtroom. After which the final one [when the Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in 2020], to me, is the one we blew. That is the one I took. We blew that. And that was within the bubble. And something can occur within the bubble. There is not any dwelling courtroom. Recreation 7 would have been in LA.

“However, it simply occurs. So I might say with me, a few of them is … I gotta do higher all the time. I all the time take my very own accountability. After which a few of it’s, circumstances occur. This one, let’s win it, and we do not have to speak about it.”

In 2003, Rivers and the Orlando Magic — led by future Corridor of Famer Tracy McGrady, who gained the scoring title that season — took that 3-1 lead on the top-seeded Pistons. It was the primary season the NBA went again to a best-of-seven first-round sequence. Famously, McGrady — who by no means made it out of the primary spherical of the playoffs till the tip his profession with San Antonio — mentioned after profitable Recreation 4 to take that 3-1 lead, “It feels good to get within the second spherical.”

Detroit promptly gained the subsequent three video games by a mixed 61 factors to really transfer on to the second spherical, then finally misplaced to the New Jersey Nets within the Jap Convention finals earlier than occurring to win an NBA title the subsequent season.

In 2015, Rivers took that 3-1 lead on, coincidently, present 76ers star level guard James Harden and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, each of whom had been then with the Houston Rockets, solely to lose the ultimate three video games of that sequence. That included a shocking collapse at dwelling in Recreation 6, when Houston outscored the Clippers 40-15 (principally with Harden watching from the bench) to show what was a 13-point deficit initially of the quarter right into a 12-point victory, earlier than closing out the sequence in Recreation 7.

As Rivers mentioned, although, the loss in 2020 is probably the most memorable one. The Clippers — led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, whom they’d acquired the earlier summer season, and the decide by many to win the championship — took a 3-1 lead on the Nuggets, solely to blow double-digit leads in every of the ultimate three video games of the sequence to be despatched dwelling from the NBA’s bubble on the Walt Disney World Resort exterior Orlando, Florida, in actually surprising trend.

Proper now, although, the 76ers are simply making an attempt to keep away from including to their already tough historical past. Simply final yr, the 76ers blew a 26-point lead in Recreation 5 of the Jap Convention semifinal sequence with the Atlanta Hawks — earlier than once more dropping on their dwelling courtroom in Recreation 7 within the sport by which Ben Simmons handed up an open dunk late within the fourth quarter, starting his path to leaving Philadelphia for good.

To date on this sequence, the 76ers routed Toronto within the opening two video games, snuck out an time beyond regulation victory behind Joel Embiid’s heroics in Recreation 3, then noticed the Raptors kind of management Video games 4 and 5. Rivers mentioned that it may be exhausting for a group to shut out one other group however that after the best way the sequence has shaken out, each groups know what they should do to win Recreation 6.

“Being up 3-0, particularly 3-0, I might say that [teams feel differently],” Rivers mentioned. “Numerous groups do not win these video games. The Celtics are the one one which gained that sport [in the first round of this year’s playoffs]. Everybody else misplaced that sport.

“From a training standpoint, you hate that, since you really feel like, ‘Let’s simply maintain it.’ You then get to Recreation 5 the opposite evening and so they performed higher. We did not play nicely. We did not play with a way of urgency. So clearly now, I believe each groups have sort of served discover and each groups have the opposite group’s consideration.

“If you do not have that, then we’re all in bother.”

When requested what it is going to take to make issues go in a different way in Recreation 6, Rivers pointed to the tempo at which the 76ers performed — notably offensively — within the first two video games and mentioned Philadelphia might want to get again to that if it desires to shut Toronto out and keep away from returning for a do-or-die Recreation 7 on Saturday evening.

“Properly, I nonetheless assume the No. 1 factor is 63% of the time we took the ball out of bounds final sport,” Rivers mentioned. “So meaning 37% of the time you are simply bringing the ball up after a made basket or free throw or one thing. So clearly that must be higher.

“We’ve got to get extra stops, as a result of they do not run … they run after they can, however after they do not, they use the clock to 22 seconds. So then the sport is a slow-paced sport and a half-court sport. So the 2 issues: No. 1, we bought to get extra stops; No. 2, once we get stops and even on scores, we bought to play at a greater tempo. We’re strolling the ball up the courtroom.”

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