The Sixers played on national TV on a Thursday night, welcoming the Los Angeles Lakers to the Wells Fargo Center. In his second game back from injury, Anthony Davis led the charge for the Lakers, with LeBron James being a late scratch due to injury. Although the game was back and forth early, the Sixers went on to defeat the Lakers by 18, winning 105-87. There were three key takeaways from Thursday night’s game that contributed to the win.
Joel Embiid ended the game with 26pts, 9rebs and 7ast, and to his standard, be considered an off night. This would be far from the truth as Joel continues to show his growth and overall maturation of his game. The Lakers made it a point at the start of the game they were not going to let the Embiid beat them tonight, doubling him early and often.
This strategy in the past has caused Joel Embiid problems and today was no different. It led him to multiple bad shots and turnovers. The overall growth of Embiid was on full display in this game against the Lakers. More than in any of the previous games. Joel scoring over 30 points for a month, you would ask, how is this so?
Here is why, Embiid struggled from the field, going 9/20 and 0-5 from three, and was visibly fatigued, which would affect the big man’s impact on the game, at least in the past. This version of Embiid shows why he is this year’s MVP of the Sixers and the NBA. Embiid, realizing he was struggling to score, continued to attack but also made it a concerted effort to make the right play. Time after time, Embiid passed out to open shooters once he was doubled and tripled-teamed totaling seven assists while also still being active on defense with two blocks and one steal.
It was a very simple job for the supporting cast tonight, who were without Seth Curry (Ankle) and Shake Milton (Back) but had Danny Green returning for the game. The Lakers doubled Embiid all night, and the supporting cast made them pay with regularity as the threes were falling and the defense was rolling. The Sixers made 13 threes and had 8 total steals, this being a formula of success for this team if they want to continue to win games this year.
Tobias Harris scored over 20 points for the second game in a row after being listed as questionable prior to the game due to a Non- Covid Illness. He had an efficient night going 10/15 from the field and 3/5 from three, finishing with 23pts, 5rebs, 4ast with some late-game scores to help close this game out against the Lakers. Before the last two games, Tobias has not played up to par, but this has to be mentioned. It can only be good for the Sixers as this season continues and will need efforts like this on a nightly basis from Harris.