The Sixers came out slow in a Black Friday win against the New York Knicks. To start the game, the Sixers showcased a floor that consisted of Ben Simmons, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid.
Despite starting the game down 15-4 and shooting 2-8 to open up, as well as being down as many as 16, the undermanned Sixers clawed back to win 101-95.
Back to their roots: Sixers’ Top Performers
The Sixers got back to doing what they do best as the game went on.
Embiid, who leads the league in points in the paint (eight, on average), finally got back to the “bully ball” mentality helping him get to his 27 points (13-15 from the line) and 17 boards.
Ben Simmons struggled early in this one when they needed him to step up with Horford and Richardson both sidelined. He played timid but still displayed a line of 15 points, five boards, and eight assists. He also came up big with a crucial steal with a minute remaining to go up seven points. In the dying minutes of the game, the Knicks started playing “hack a Ben,” where he made one one out of two free throws each trip to the line (5-10 total).
James Ennis was a crucial part in Philadelphia’s comeback, hitting back to back threes down the stretch to contribute 20 points while shooting 3-4 from deep.
Player of the Game
Calling him the player of the game is a bit of a stretch, but his defense sparked the Sixers to come back after being down as many as 16 points.
After being tied for blocks per game in the G-league with right under three and a half, Pelle carried that defensive dominance against the Knicks. The 6’10, 230-pound forward had been quietly shining for the Blue Coats behind the offensive dominance of Marial Shayok. Pelle picked up 13 minutes in his debut. In this time, the two-way player stood his ground at the Sixers’ rim, picking up four blocks.
Along with this, he snoozed a bit offensively, only picking up three points. Meanwhile, he picked up three fouls off the bench. Being a young defensive player like Thybulle, Pelle is still learning how to be dominant in his own paint while not fouling.
Simply just something that comes with experience.
It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett did their part, each grabbing 20, 22 and 18 points, respectively.
But, the Sixers needed to just get past this game being so shorthanded. This game was far from a gimme, however, if the Sixers want to assert themselves as one of the dominant teams in the East, this was still a game they needed to have.
Sixers host the Indiana Pacers for the first time this season Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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