They almost, almoooost did it.
The Sixers already knew they would be without Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell, but it wasn’t until about two minutes before the game that fans found out Joel Embiid would also not be playing due to lower back tightness. It seemed like the game was over before it started.
But for the first time in a while, there was a valiant effort put forth by the Sixers bench, specifically the backup big men: Richaun Holmes and Trevor Booker. Holmes finished with 12/9 and Booker finished with 16/9 and proved himself to be “a bigger TJ McConnell.” Booker was electric all night, crashing the glass with passion and drawing 4 fouls inside (and going 6-7 from the line).
J.J. Redick had an epiphany and remembered how to shoot as he had a team high 28 points along with 4 assists. Not far behind him was Ben Simmons who had 27 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and, he shot 7-9 from the free throw line!
Rec Spec Dario showed up again and recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds as he did his best to guard Anthony Davis, to no avail. Davis finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 4 assists and was all over the place for the Pelicans. The Sixers accomplished getting DeMarcus Cousins into foul trouble early, but that didn’t stop him from posting 23 points and 9 rebounds.
The real story for the Pelicans came from Forever-Sixer, Jrue Holiday.
Just when it looked like the 10-man Sixers could steal a win down in the Big Easy, Jrue decided that the city of Philadelphia shall receive minimal joy today (Pray for Carson) as he downed the Sixers with 34 points, 17 of those points coming in the 4th quarter, which ultimately put the Sixers away for good.
But, since Bradley Cooper was at the Eagles game today, let’s look at some silver linings for the Sixers in this game…
The backup frontcourt of Richaun Holmes and Trevor Booker showed some immense energy as they did everything they could to stop Boogie and The Brow. Richaun blocked both Cousins and Davis at the rim, and Booker was the main man responsible for getting Cousins into foul trouble early in the 2nd half.
The Sixers went 27-30 (90%) from the charity stripe in this game; the team came in to the game shooting 73.6% from the line. The only misses they had tonight were from Simmons, who missed two, and one other from Trevor Booker.
The amount of energy and grit this team played with tonight was very nice to see. With the absence of two of their top three scoring options, as well as the lack of their usual bench spark plug, the team looked susceptible to a blowout loss on the rear end of a back to back weekend road trip. Booker and Holmes especially made sure that this extremely shorthanded Sixers squad stayed within striking distance for most of the game.
One thing that Marshall Harris mentioned postgame… who else can’t wait for the T.J. McConnell/Trevor Booker lineup?? That duo has some potential to see bodies flying all over the floor at all times of the game.
Furkan Korkmaz registered 20 total minutes tonight and cashed in on his first career NBA 3-pointer (he went 1-4 from three on the night) and he registered his first career NBA dunk on a fast break reverse jam. Furkan looked a little timid as he was thrown in to the fire against some big NBA bodies, but it was great for him to get some run and get a feel for the NBA. As he gets more comfortable, I’m sure he will show us what a great shooter he is.
The 3rd quarter Sixers didn’t show up tonight, instead, some team came and outscored the Pelicans 40-21 in the 3rd quarter to erase an 11-point halftime deficit. The only bad part about this, is that the Sixers decided that they would be terrible in the 4th quarter as they were outscored 44-29.
Rajon Rondo finished the game with 18 assists. So I guess shout out to him, cause that’s pretty impressive.