Camden, N.J. - Through three games, the first round matchup between the Sixers and New York Knicks has been as weird as it has been controversial.

Philadelphia trails two games to one. They've outscored the Knicks by one point in the series. The two losses in New York were decided by an average of five points per game.

That's how close it's been thus far.

As veteran forward Nico Batum said at Saturday's practice, the Sixers could easily lead three games to none or two games to one. They could also easily trail three games to none.

Could, should; none of that really matters right now.

What matters is Game 4. A Sixers win turns the series into a best-two-out-of-three. A loss puts Philadelphia on death's doorstep.

So, with a series that has been played this closely, with game plans that have largely proven to be sound on both sides, how much room is there for making adjustments between games?

"It really depends on where you are in the series. Like, can we predict it? [...] Right now, we're still making adjustments. They do, as well. Pretty sure they're doing the same thing right now. It's just like a chess match," Batum told reporters at Saturday's practice.

"Who's going to be the best team tomorrow? Like I said, we can go through and change a couple things. But, it's just really, like, who really wants it more at that point. I mean, they're good, we're good. So, it will be a game."

Head coach Nick Nurse offered a different point of view, suggesting halftime is when the magic happens.

"I think there's certainly some adjustments to be made. There's always adjustments to be made in each game at the half, considering what you've seen from them in that portion, too. So, that's a part of it," Nurse told reporters on Saturday.

"Listen, I keep telling the guys, 'We got to play better. We got to play better'. What are those areas? What do I mean by that? What are those specific areas? What do we need to do better? That's what we're talking about and working on. I still feel like, as you can see in these games, it's other people, at different times of games. I think there's more opportunity there yet for some of our other guys."

Reserve guard Cam Payne and wing Kelly Oubre Jr. were those "other guys" in Game 3, offering Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey a punch of support that hadn't come in the first two games of this series.

It took Embiid going for a playoff career-high 50 points for the Sixers to win Game 3 by just 11 points. His masterpiece stole the spotlight. But, Philadelphia survived the first superstar game from Jalen Brunson in this series because a few of the Sixers' "other people" ran toward the fight at different moments throughout the game.

If the Sixers are going to beat the odds that come with trailing a series two games to none, they're going to need the supporting cast to, well, support. If Games 1 and 2 are any evidence, Embiid and Maxey simply being themselves isn't enough to keep the Knicks at bay.

Spare Notes

- It seems that one of the "X factor" decisions weighing on Nurse is whether or not to give De'Anthony Melton a look in this series. When asked how Melton's back is responding to the work he's doing, Nurse offered:

"Pretty good, I really think it's a day by day thing. His schedule is kind of...they've kind of got him paired up with our schedule, even though he's not playing and stuff. So, we get him on the court when we play, and then they rest him the next day. Then, they work him again the days we're working, like today. So, he's OK. I mean, he's been cleared to play. I would say, you know, it still has to be...I mean, I love him, but it seems like such a difficult circumstance. It's been so long and it's so intense and it's whatever. But, we're around there on making a decision on that. Thinking about it, I guess."

- NBA Skills Coach Drew Hanlen was present after practice, studying film with Maxey.

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