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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 46

The Sixers start the tough part of the schedule in style

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

For a refresher on what constitutes a Bell Ringer, please reference the initial post.

Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 16
Ben Simmons - 14
Jimmy Butler - 5
JJ Redick - 5
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1

In their first of 12 straight games against opponents with winning records, the Sixers shot 18-for-34 from behind the arc, and assisted on 38 of their 46 baskets, in trouncing the Pacers in Indiana, 120-96. With the win, Philadelphia is mere percentage points behind Indiana for third place in the Eastern Conference. Here are tonight’s Bell Ringer candidates from the impressive victory:

Jimmy Butler: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals

When the Sixers traded for Jimmy Butler, this was the type of performance the team hoped to receive on a regular basis. He repeatedly attacked offensively with as much authority as we’ve seen from him as a Sixer. After getting on the scoreboard with a pull-up 3 off a dribble handoff with Joel Embiid (we saw more of that tandem Thursday night), Butler’s next seven baskets came at the rim off hard cuts or confident drives to the cup. Butler then capped his night with two mid-range jumpers to flash the complete range of his offensive repertoire.

Even more impressively, though, Butler set up his teammates for success, recording 8 assists without turning the ball over. Time and again in the halfcourt, Jimmy drew the attention of the Pacers defense, and found Mike Muscala in the corner for a wide-open 3-pointer, or Embiid underneath for an uncontested lay-in. Toss in a strong defensive effort as part of the crew that held Victor Oladipo to 6-for-20 shooting, and it was a superstar night for Jimmy.

Joel Embiid: 22 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks

Embiid entered the game a true game-time decision with back stiffness, and in the first half, it looked like the team had made a terrible call in playing him. He was visibly suffering out on the court, bending over constantly in discomfort and painfully grimacing after sudden movements or hard contact. You only have to look at his mere 2 free throw attempts to know something wasn’t right for the big man.

Setting aside the decision to play him aside, Embiid was an absolute warrior. His most fitting sequence was racing down the floor for a chasedown block of Darren Collison, when, after J.J. Redick was knocked to the ground grabbing the rebound, Embiid doubled over in agony hauling him up. Some sort of treatment in the locker room during the break seemed to work, though, as he looked much more spry in the second half, collecting 9 of his 13 rebounds and shooting 5-for-9 after halftime. By the end, Embiid nearly had a triple-double, and helped the Sixers start this grueling stretch off on the right foot.

J.J. Redick: 20 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists

Redick nearly signed with the Pacers last offseason, and his decision to return to Philly may have swung the outcome in this game. J.J. finished a sparkling 6-for-9 from downtown, with four of those makes coming off the Sixers’ bread-and-butter DHO play between him and Embiid. Four of Redick’s five assists also went to Embiid, as he helped make life easier for the big man on a night he wasn’t physically his best.

Mike Muscala: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

Moose shot the ball effectively, going 3-for-4 from 3-point range, including two huge corner threes midway through the fourth quarter to help put the game to bed. He also did fine work on the glass, grabbing 5 defensive rebounds in the first half alone when Embiid was less than limber, and came away with a forceful swat of MIP candidate Domantas Sabonis.

Ben Simmons: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Simmons did not score and turned the ball over 5 times in the first half, finishing with 6 turnovers for the game. Still, some props need to be given for some of the gorgeous passes he whipped out against the Pacers. In the first quarter, the one-handed catch on a post-up and dish to a cutting Butler was nonchalant brilliance. A bounce pass to a cutting Embiid for a dunk was a perfect bit of pinpoint accuracy in tight spaces. As shown above, that bounce pass to the corner for a Muscala 3 was an inventive show of court awareness. Simmons is talented enough that even in games where he plays poorly, you still come away with some plays that wow you.


Who is your Bell Ringer from Indiana?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Jimmy Butler
    (727 votes)
  • 10%
    Joel Embiid
    (93 votes)
  • 3%
    J.J. Redick
    (30 votes)
  • 1%
    Mike Muscala
    (17 votes)
  • 1%
    Ben Simmons
    (13 votes)
880 votes total Vote Now

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