Somebody needs to wake up and smell the history, because it’s a hell of a lot closer than anybody with the 76ers seemed to realize after their embarrassing 103-88 no-show of a loss to the Raptors in Game 5.

Maybe the onus is on Doc Rivers. Maybe it is on James Harden himself. Most likely, it’s on both. The Sixers suddenly are two losses away from becoming the first NBA team to blow a 3-0 lead in a series, and the two guys who should best recognize imminent postseason failure don’t seem to see it coming.

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The only thing riper than the pre-soak-and-high-temperature-wash pants-wrecker the home team laid Monday night was the sense of denial that permeated the postgame interview room. The Sixers understood just how bad they were, don’t you worry. It’s just that they seemed to believe that avoiding a similar fate in Game 6 would not require much intervention on their part.

The solution to the Raptors’ ability to get into the paint and finish at will? Play better defense!

The solution to the Sixers’ 10-for-37 showing from the three-point line? Knock down shots!

The solution to the suffocating realization that the Sixers have been out-played for three straight games and are a fadeaway three-point buzzer-beater by a seven-footer away from being in a do-or-die situation in Game 6? Block out the negative noise!

“We’ve really got to focus on what’s worked for us this series in the games that we’ve won, what’s been successful, and we’ve got to do more of that,” Tobias Harris said after the Raptors earned a trip back to Toronto for another potential elimination game. “We can’t get away from what has worked in the three games that we have won.”

Ruh-roh. The problem with that notion is what worked in the first three games of this series was an offense that relied on Joel Embiid to score points and create space. Right now, that is not an option. That should be obvious to anybody who has watched Embiid’s first two attempts to play through a torn thumb ligament. There’s a reason he sounded so dejected after Game 4 when he bemoaned the fact that basketball is a sport that demands a lot out of a player’s dominant hand. Embiid is well aware of what he can’t do, and a lot of that includes things of key importance, which some people clearly still don’t grasp.

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This isn’t just about points and rebounds and blocks. Embiid’s linescore from Game 5′s travesty didn’t look much different than the one he posted in the Sixers’ 131-111 win in Game 1.

Game 1: 19 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-of-15 shooting, 0-for-2 from three-point range.

Game 5: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-of-15 shooting, 0-for-4 from three.

Looks similar, but there are a couple of critical differences. Embiid had four offensive rebounds and zero turnovers in Game 1, compared with one and four in Game 5. That’s an extra seven possessions for the Sixers in Game 1 vs. Game 5. And that only begins to hint at the problem.

Embiid’s greatest value on the offensive end is the dynamic manner in which he wields his massive frame. His ability to face-up defenders and get downhill and draw contact and crowd is what separates him from big men who clog up space. That is the part of the game that has been missing since his injury. And it’s a wild leap of faith to expect it to come back.

Just look at the numbers. In the first three games of the series, he was credited with 18 drives to the basket, per In the last two games, he was credited with just four. His average seconds per touched dropped from 2.92 to 2.13, his average dribbles from 1.34 to 0.80, his average points from .403 to .268. We’re watching Embiid at 60% right now. The missing 40% makes all the difference.

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The Sixers need to pivot, and they need to do it fast. In Games 4 and 5, they stuck with the formula that has more or less defined them since Harden’s arrival. Give the ball to Harden, let him create off the dribble, and rely upon his passing ability to make up for his startling inability to finish in the paint.

Problem is, Embiid played a huge role in making that process work. The dividends are no longer there. How many times in Game 5 did we see Harden get past a defender and make a pass to a teammate who had nowhere to go? How many times did we see him or Tyrese Maxey swing the ball around the perimeter only to get it right back.

“I’ve been saying all season since he got here, he just needs to be aggressive and he needs to be himself,” Embiid said after the game. “That’s not really my job. That’s probably on Coach to talk to him and tell him to take more shots, especially if they’re gonna guard me the way they’ve been guarding, but that’s really not my job.”

As usual, Embiid is correct. Asked after the game if Toronto was doing anything different to limit his scoring ability, Harden scoffed and pointed out that he only attempted 11 shots. Which is exactly the point. The Raptors seem willing to take their chances on Harden finishing his drives. If he isn’t going to make them regret that mentality, then it might help to occasionally take the ball out of his hands.

Rivers needs to adjust. Harden needs to allow him to adjust. Their willingness to do so could have ramifications that stretch far beyond this season. Rivers now has lost seven of the last closeout games he has coached. One year after blowing a 2-1 lead against the lower-seeded Hawks, he will not survive another playoff meltdown.

Harden, meanwhile, looks like a player who needs a certain type of roster around him to accommodate his new style of play. The current version of the Sixers is contingent on a dominant player to make it work. That dominance was not there in Games 4 and 5. The only choice is to find something new that works.