The seven-seed Sixers visited the two-seed New York Knicks in Game 1 of their first round playoff series on Saturday. Philadelphia wanted to steal homecourt advantage with a victory. New York wanted to protect its building with a victory in Game 1. After appearing to survive a Joel Embiid injury scare, the Sixers got beat on the effort plays and lost their bet against Josh Hart hitting threes as the Knicks took Game 1, 111-104.

Before we get to what I saw, some notes.

Contextual Notes

The Sixers were without the services of De'Anthony Melton, who is still recovering from a back injury. Robert Covington remained out with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Nick Nurse started Kyle Lowry, Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre Jr., Tobias Harris, and Embiid.

The Knicks were without the services of Julius Randle, who is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

Tom Thibodeau started Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Hart, and Isaiah Hartenstein.


- Through the first quarter, it appeared we were destined to witness a typical regular season game from Embiid. He controlled the entire game, lurking near the rim to deter drivers and stepping up to give body when the ball found its way inside. He merely had to be on the court to impact New York's shot quality and diet, even if all five Sixers repeatedly failed to hold the Knicks back when the first shot went up.

You could've given Embiid a set of scrubs on the other end of the floor because he was performing surgery on offense. He took his time finding positioning inside, feeling out where the post defender had his arm(s) and paying attention to his internal clock to guide him to his next decision.

He quite literally felt out the situation when the ball arrived, starting slowly to test the Knicks' response and then quickly attacking hard if they disrespected him with a lone defender. He scored the Sixers' first nine points of the game, shushing anyone who came in thinking he would use the ailing knee as an excuse to roll over.

Embiid's approach was excellent in the first quarter. He was quick to get off the ball when the touch came in the middle of the floor, reading whether the help was coming and waiting for the commitment before passing to the open teammate. Whether it was noting where off-ball defenders were looking before threading passes to cutters or kicking out to open shooters, Embiid allowed himself to be the fulcrum around which everything flowed, striking a decent balance between trusting his comrades and calling his own number.

He didn't lose sight of what drives his greatness as he quarterbacked the first quarter for Philadelphia. Embiid attacked the basket hard from the middle of the floor if he saw that the Knicks had no one in the low man position to stop him at the rim. If the touch came by the short corner or baseline, Embiid called his own number quickly and attacked for scores.

It was one of the most dominant quarters he's ever had in the playoffs. A shame it didn't move Philadelphia any closer to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

- The second biggest story of the game was the minutes during which Embiid was off the court. Philadelphia outscored the Knicks by 14 points when the big guy was on the court. The Sixers were outscored by 21 when he was off the floor.

In the past, that would've been a reflection of those responsible for relieving Embiid. But, I actually didn't think Paul Reed was the problem. There was some shooting luck (Bojan Bogdanovic banked in a transition three from the top of the key) that catapulted the Knicks onto a quick run early in those minutes. There were also some awful Sixers possessions that were doomed as the clock ticked down. But, Reed bailed Philadelphia out with some difficult scores at the rim and stood his ground on a few Knicks attempts inside. The minutes without Embiid were undeniably bad, but Reed should be cleared of blame for the first-half portion of that disaster.

- The Knicks capitalized on the Sixers reeling in the aftermath of Embiid seemingly re-injuring his left knee in the second quarter, expanding Philadelphia's deficit to double digits before halftime. It was in the third quarter that Nurse moved a piece on his chess board, calling for his troops to defend in zone.

It created a lot of confusion for New York's offense, the ball only moving side to side, passes being directed at Knicks who had multiple defenders nearby, and drivers crashing into multiple Sixers. The decision to defend in zone was a key driver in Philadelphia going on its run and taking the lead in the third quarter.

- Oubre earned a quick mention. Five steals on the night. His defense wasn't perfect, but he used his length to blow up some New York possessions.


- The Eastern Conference playoff picture froze somewhere between the second and third quarters, Embiid landing hard on his left leg after a dunk and dropping to the court in agony. He left for the remainder of the first half, but was back in time for the start of the third quarter.

His jumper was flat for the rest of the game. Embiid, whether mentally scarred by what he's dealt with this season or truly experiencing discomfort in his left knee, clearly wasn't about to easily move on from whatever had happened on that play in the second quarter. Still, he didn't concede the game. I'm not even sure he played it safely. But, he wanted to be out there, fighting alongside his teammates in a game that was still within reach.

That didn't stop people on the internet from taking the opportunity to play doctor; to criticize the organization and the player for even taking a swing at a playoff run with a late-season comeback; to call Embiid's toughness into question.

The 'dislike' of Embiid having an injury scare in the first place aside, the other 'dislike' here is the way everyone reacted to the player leaving the game. If you're not part of the team's medical staff, if you haven't viewed the imaging on Embiid's leg, and if you have no document stating that you are a medical doctor, you have no business jumping to conclusions about what the player may or may not be dealing with.

While you're re-watching the video of Embiid landing and paying close attention to how the knee reacts to impact, you're missing the human element. Embiid has to trust the knee. Until he trusts the knee, still injured or not, Embiid is going to have these moments of fear when things don't feel right. That's normal. That's human.

It may be playoff time; it may be the time of year that separates the boys from the men. But, none of that makes it acceptable to neglect the human element of what Embiid is dealing with every time he steps on the court.

- The period of time spanning Embiid's exit due to the injury scare and the end of the second quarter was quietly a critical couple of minutes in this game. It felt like the Sixers were shocked, more concerned about their teammate than they were focused on closing the half strong. Regardless, Philadelphia had a hole to dig itself out of in the second half. Even as the Sixers made their runs, they lost the effort plays.

The Knicks got way too many scores off of run-outs, taking advantage of bad Philadelphia possessions that ended with a live basketball to pursue. New York has made offensive rebounding a significant part of its identity. On a night when Brunson was nothing to write home about, the Knicks got seven offensive rebounds from Mitchell Robinson, five each from Brunson and Hartenstein, and four from Hart.

The Knicks pulled down 23 offensive rebounds in a game in which they shot below 40 percent from the field. Scratching and clawing for those effort plays was how they put themselves in position to win as the game slowed down.

- This one will hurt for Sixers fans because Brunson was not his typical self. The other side of the coin is that Miles McBride was preposterously sensational. He and Brunson feasted on Philadelphia's drop coverage in the second half, punishing a pick-and-roll scheme that puts Embiid closer to the rim with pull-up jumper after pull-up jumper at times when stops were of the utmost importance to the Sixers.

- You expect Bogdanovic to rip your heart out with his shooting touch. What you don't expect is to get daggered by threes from Hart. If the fourth quarter is going to come down to Hart hitting threes over and over again, you tip your cap.

The Sixers (0-1) and Knicks (1-0) will play Game 2 of this series in New York on Monday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Eastern time. You can catch the action on TNT and truTV.

The Cost Of Seasonal Parking Permits In Cape May County, NJ Shore Towns

Every Jersey Shore Town located in Cape May County now uses the ParkMobile App for parking, as every town has made the transition to Virtual Parking Meters. Some people do not want the hassle of using a Virtual App or paying for Meters. These people typically obtain Seasonal Parking Passes in order to park in the Coastal Communities from May through September.
Here is a breakdown of how much those Parking Permits are reported to cost in each Cape May County Shore Town. Small Municipalities such as West Wildwood and West Cape May do not have their own parking meters or Seasonal Parking Permits, so they are not listed below.

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media

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