Joel Embiid continued his push for MVP as the Sixers sweep the Celtics in their first two meetings of the season.
Ah, Sixers’ basketball is fun again. In the latter half of the NBA’s new style of a “home and home,” the Sixers sent the Celtics out of Philly with their second consecutive win against them. Philadelphia put up 122 points in a 122-110 victory. Despite Jaylen Brown scoring a career-high 42 points, this was the second in as many games against Boston, so it’s time to bring out the brooms.
The Sixers stretch their record to 11-5 as the starters account for 96 of the team’s 122 points. Philly also moves to 8-0 when all of the starting five play together. This was pretty much the story of the game tonight.
The Sixers’ Starting Five
Wow, where do we start?
The Sixers starters were together for only the eighth time this season. As stated, they remain a perfect 8-0 when all of them start the game together. Each one of them carried their weight in some way, as the bench slacked on the scoring front tonight.
The big man once again put on an absolute show. The MVP frontrunner put together a 38 point, 11 rebound double-double performance in the win. The Sixers needed the spark that Joel brought, dominating Theis down low all game. He “only” got to the line 15 times tonight compared to his 21 times on Wednesday, but this did not stop him from having another high scoring outing.
Let’s also not forget to mention that Embiid is starting to absolutely own the Celtics on a consistent basis:
Simmons has been in the spotlight a lot recently. After a failed trade attempt that would have sent him to Houston, the 6’10 guard could have caused a fuss about this. However, he has just continued to play his game. Despite his scoring being at a career-low rate as of now, the versatile guard scored 11 of his 15 points when it mattered most- in the fourth quarter.
However, Ben’s contributions do not stop at scoring. His 11 assists led the entire game. He helped account for 43 points total (15 from him, 26 from assists, and a steal that lead to a basket). Simmons got it done defensively in the fourth quarter as well, holding the sizzling hot Jalen Brown to only two points in crunch time.
Curry returned to action tonight after missing almost two weeks due to COVID-19. He contributed a solid 15 points, shooting 60% from three (3-5). He helped spark the Sixers’ scoring early as well, making two of his threes early in the game.
Not only did Curry contribute offensively in the scoring department, but it was clear that he opened the floor back up. During his absence, the spacing was not nearly as bad as it was in previous years. However, with him back in the lineup, his impact off the ball was as clear as day.
Danny Green has been as streaky as you would expect a shooter to be. He’s shown his ceiling, but he’s also shown his floor so far this season. In this one, he shot a poor 2-7 from the floor en route to a 5 point performance.
Again, Green is one of those guys that does not need to score though. His defensive numbers may not show it (1 block and 1 steal), but his impact on the Sixers’ end of the court goes beyond anything a stat sheet could show.
Heading into this season, people were worried that Harris would struggle to be the Sixers’ third-best player this season. However, the argument could be made that he is the second-best, only behind Embiid.
Since returning from missing action due to COVID protocols, Tobias has been a silent assassin. In this one, he contributed 23 points and 8 boards. He’s scored at least 20 points in three straight games. Along with this, Tobi has not scored under 18 points since returning from his absence.
The Sixers’ Bench
Overall, the bench did not contribute much to the scoring in this game. They only accounted for 28 of the team’s 122 points, being led by Matisse Thybulle’s nine. However, they each contributed in their own unique ways during crucial moments.
Dwight Howard grabbed 12 rebounds. Maxey on played 6 minutes, but had two points and three assists. Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz had quiet nights overall. Furkan, who shot 2-7 from three and 2-9 from the floor total had an awful shooting performance, where he also ate into Isaiah Joe’s minutes.
The Sixers don’t have much time to regroup. They’ll travel to Detroit to take on the 3-12 Pistons. I’d expect Joel Embiid to get a well deserved rest day either tomorrow or Monday, so keep an eye on that.
Tip off is slated for 8 PM tomorrow, not the original 7PM. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire