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76ers insist they’re ‘good enough’ to come back and beat Knicks despite results



The 76ers went into the season talking titles.

They come into Tuesday fighting for their playoff lives — and facing a first-round exit. 

Seventh-seeded Philadelphia is on the brink of a beating at the hands of the Knicks, facing a do-or-die Game 5 at what’s expected to be a sold-out raucous Garden. 

“The message you send is first to four. They have three already, so we have to go up there and fight for our lives,” 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey said. “Fight for our season; that’s what it is.” 

Tyrese Maxey dribbles to the rim during the 76ers’ Game 4 loss to the Knicks on April 28, 2024. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

After repeatedly falling short of the Eastern Conference finals — much less the NBA Finals — the Sixers brought in former championship coach Nick Nurse to finally clear that hurdle. 

Turns out right now they might settle for even those failures. 

Down 3-1 to the Knicks, a Sixers team that hasn’t gotten past the second round since 2001 is on the brink of getting bounced in the first.

They’ll have to dig their way out of this hole victory by victory, starting Tuesday when Joel Embiid will be greeted by waves of vitriol in the Garden

“One at a time. We know we’re good enough,” said Embiid. “[Sunday] we didn’t make shots, so we’ve just got to keep trusting ourselves,” 

The Sixers haven’t shown they’re good enough.

Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is still confident that the 76ers are ‘good enough’ to come back in their series against the Knicks. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Still, they insist they haven’t lost confidence in themselves, or trust in each other. 

“Yeah, extremely confident,” said Maxey. “It’s a confident group over there honestly, just because we’ve been through a lot this year. And we know that. So when adversity hits we know how to bounce back from it. And we feel that we’re very capable of winning three games in a row. I’d say that’s first and foremost. 

“And we’ve been very, very, very close in a lot of these games, Game 2 and [Game 4] for sure I feel like we should’ve won. So we’ll take that confidence over there and try to go win. That’s all you can do. We’ve got to try to go get one game in the Garden and come back here, get one game, then we’ll see what happens in Game 7.” 

Adversity like shooting just 34.2 percent in the second half of Game 4, and 25.0 percent in the fourth quarter.

And of getting battered on the glass, the Knicks’ 38.9 percent on offensive boards among the best percentages in years. And Embiid was targeted by Jalen Brunson on screens. 

Still, the 76ers claim if there’s any pressure, it’s on the Knicks, and not on them. 

“We’ve got no pressure. We’re the seven seed, down 3-1, a lot of guys are hurt. I don’t know why we would feel the pressure,” Embiid insisted. “So we should just go out there and go out and play our best basketball and one at a time, win one, come back home, win another one, and then Game 7 over there. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it. Yeah, no pressure.”

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