The Sixers were back at it again in Orlando Florida Sunday afternoon. After coasting to a victory of the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, the team looked to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. They would have to do so without Joel Embiid however as he would miss the game due to calf tightness. While it is discouraging to see Embiid miss a game due to injury, this is just a scrimmage and rest will be an integral part of the NBA restart.
The Sixers had a well-balanced attack early on seeing scoring from a variety of players. One encouraging sign was the way the three-point shot was falling. Al Horford specifically caught fire landing four of his five first-half threes. The big man has had his share of struggles this season but came into this game looking his best.
Sixers’ deadline acquisition Glenn Robinson III also looked his best scoring a quick seven points which included two threes. His hot start would be cut short however after landing awkwardly on his hip. It’s unfortunate as Robinson seemed to have finally found his role within the team. Luckily, Robinson should not miss much time.
Ben Simmons also was putting on a show on both ends of the court and was quickly on Triple-Double watch. While he may not have attempted a three in the half, Simmons showed why he is one of the most valuable players in the entire league.
Finally, Norvelle Pelle had himself a half showing off tremendous defensive instincts. His impact as a rim protector and a rebound may just find him a role on this team going forward.
The Sixers fought hard in the first half and had quality separation by the end of it.
The Sixers came into the Second Half on a mission. They were dominant especially defensively and that defense translated into a ton of offense. As they forced turnovers, the Sixers pushed the ball into transition which led to points in transition.
Shake Milton showed off his range and why he is running with the starters. His ability to catch and shoot mixed with his ball-handling and defensive length make him the perfect complementary player to Ben Simmons.
The Sixers worked their way up to over a 20 point league at one point but much like the game against Memphis, the Sixers struggled to maintain their lead. As the team shifted away from their starters the Thunder came back in a fury.
The Sixers’ bench struggled on both ends of the court. The bench of the Sixers were getting obliterated by the Thunder’s bench. Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, and Marial Shayok were disgustingly disappointing in particular. The three of them combined to shoot 17% from the field and were as porous as they come defensively.
The Sixers were unable to score or defend and the fourth quarter was absolutely pitiful.
Final Score: Sixers: 97 Thunder 102
The Sixers will play the Dallas Mavericks in their third and final scrimmage this Tuesday at 8:30PM EST. Hopefully, Joel Embiid will be healthy and ready to go as this will be the last chance he will have before the season will resume.
The bench will be a must-watch in that game to see if they yet again blow an enormous lead. Outside of Matisse Thybulle and Al Horford, the rest of the bench is very uncertain. Hopefully, they will use this game as a learning experience and be more prepared when the season resumes.
Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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