It was announced that 76ers ace defender Matisse Thybulle had entered health and safety protocol prior to the game, along with second year shooter Isaiah Joe. Coupled with the COVID-related absence of Tobias Harris and the fact that Danny Green was still nursing a calf injury, the Sixers found themselves shorthanded again ahead of a clash with Chicago.
While both teams struggled to shoot the ball early. The Sixers seemed to find a groove in the second quarter and go on a 15-0 run with about four minutes left in the half behind some hot shooting from Korkmaz. Joel Embiid led the team at the half with 20 points, 10 Rebounds, two assist, and two blocks.
This game was all about the second half and whether or not the Sixers could withstand a run from the Chicago Bulls while missing some of their key players tonight. While the Bulls did take the lead late in the forth, leading the Sixers 97-96, the 76ers then went on an 18-8 run with no bucket bigger then Embiid’s three with seconds left on the clock. The 76ers go on to beat the Chicago Bulls 114-105.
Embiid had one of his better statistical games tonight with numbers of 30pts, 15rebs, 3ast, 11/19 from the field, while cashing in four of his five threes taken. What impressed more then those numbers is something I have seen early on in this season from Embiid, which is his leadership and poise.
If the Sixers were to win this game, Embiid was going to have to come out with energy that would be needed for this team to draw from. The Big Man did just that with his rebounding and defensive presence around the rim.
The team fed off that all night, playing as a unit and making it hard for Chicago’s big names.
Embiid showed poise down the stretch and was everything fans hope a superstar would be in a clutch situation.
Although Embiid had six turnovers, it was over shadowed by his leadership and offensive brilliance.
Korkmaz continues his impressive run this year, with his three-point shooting being front and center, going 7/9 from three, 9/13 from the field, totaling 25 points, while also adding six rebounds. Furkan also continues to hold his own on the defensive end of the court, at times guarding former all star DeMar DeRozan. If Korkmaz continues this type of play offensively and playing defense with energy he will find himself on the floor more times then not late in games.
The Young Guys:
Being shorthanded gave an opportunity to young players on the team like Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton and power forward Paul Reed who got the start. The tandem of Maxey and Milton continues to grow and the confidence is oozing from the two on the court.
Maxey and Shake both scored double digits, but nothing was more impressive then their playmaking, totaling 14 assists. While Paul Reed did what he does best, which is bring lots of energy and hustle to the team, amassing 10 points and 5 boards in 21 minutes, he also took on DeRozan for a few spells, showing that he’s ready to take on those bigger assignments.
The 76ers displayed a total team win. Playing good team defense, doing so with a lot energy, and executing the offense perfectly down the stretch of the game were the key factors for the win. The Sixers continue to display a lot of heart and grit to pull out these wins and it has led this team to a conference-leading 8-2 record and a six game win streak.
The NBA season is still early, but the way this Sixers team plays together even with key members of the team being out is significant, and they can only get better as the team gets healthy.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire