June 20th, 2021: The night the Sixers would lose Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks, sending the Sixers spiraling into an offseason of unsurety. October 30th, 2021: The first matchup between those two teams since that fateful final spring day.
One notable difference between the Sixers’ roster then versus now is the lack of Ben Simmons. That game in late June set forward a series of events that have kept Simmons apart from the team and, as of now, has led to him attending practice, but not much more.
Without Simmons, questions have surrounded this Sixers team, such as, how good would they be without their three-time All-Star?
If tonight was any indicator, and it should be, this Sixers’ team isn’t going to make things easy for the other teams in the Eastern Conference. Not only were the Sixers able to pull out the win, but they absolutely trounced the Hawks.
Tobias Harris led the way tonight, scoring 22 points in only 13 shots from the field. He also pulled down 11 rebounds for his second double-double on the young year.
It was quite the coming-out party for Thybulle, who had been noticeably quiet up until that point this season. The young wing was electric and was a driving force contributing to locking down Trae Young. The Atlanta star was held to 13 points while shooting 5/16 from the field.
After nearly blowing their last game against the Detroit Pistons, the Sixers got a much-needed win. Not only that but to blowout the team that knocked you out of the playoffs last season has to be a huge morale boost from the team.
This could be a real turning point for Philadelphia, but they will need to perform like this consistently if they’re going to make any noise this season.
Their next test will be this Monday against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. It may be more than just another game for the Sixers, as it may be an opportunity to show Lillard what he might be missing in Philly.