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 - 6
JJ Redick - 5
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1
In front of a raucous Wells Fargo Center crowd and a national television audience, the Sixers nearly completed the huge comeback victory, only to see Paul George break Philadelphians’ hearts into a billion pieces with a game-winning 4-point play. Jimmy Butler’s final hoist was off the mark, and the Thunder prevailed, 117-115. Vote for the game’s Bell Ringer:
Joel Embiid: 31 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block
Watching Embiid and Steven Adams, voted strongest man in the league, go toe-to-toe for 30-plus minutes was the closest we can get in real life to Godzilla vs. Megalon. Both guys had their moments, but Embiid being a +15 (with Adams finishing -14) has to at least give JoJo the edge, despite the team result. Some of his long, loping drives were poetry in motion, and the court awareness in spotting open teammates continues to improve. Embiid missed a couple more free throws than normal, but came up huge when it counted, making all three foul shots to tie the game in the closing seconds. The fact that it was also the play that fouled out Russell Westbrook was a special bonus for everyone exceedingly tired of the Thunder guard’s whole aggrieved act.
Ben Simmons: 20 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block
Notch another missed-it-by-one triple-double for Simmons, who was as aggressive as I’ve seen him on the glass in the first half, collecting five of his six offensive rebounds prior to the break. A couple of those second chances immediately yielded huge putback slams for Ben, who had something critics have clamored to see more from him: a good game against a good team. Time and again, he looked like a man amongst boys in bullying his way to the basket.
The last few minutes weren’t quite as kind for Simmons. He missed some free throws (4-for-8 total), and had a really bad turnover to Paul George, which led to George knocking down a 3 on the other end. On the final play of the game, it really looked for all the world like Simmons was ready to pull-up for a game-winning 3-pointer, but his brain kind of broke down a little bit at the idea, leading to Butler getting hung out to dry for a highly contested look. If Simmons had actually taken a 3-pointer with the game on the line, NBA Twitter might have fractured into pure light like a scene from Annihilation.
JJ Redick: 22 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Redick was a sieve defensively. He and T.J. McConnell were revolving doors for the cavalcade of athletic guards and wings on the Thunder roster. But JJ was huge in the fourth quarter comeback for the Sixers, scoring 8 points in the frame without missing a shot. He finished 4-for-10 from behind the arc for the game.
Jimmy Butler: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
Jimmy had a few leaks in his Buckets for most of the game, starting an ice-cold 3-for-15 from the field. But the Sixers acquired Butler in part because they needed a closer, and he did a pitch-perfect 2008 Brad Lidge impression down the stretch. Butler scored 6 points on back-to-back possessions with a 3 and a three-point play. Then, he put the Sixers in front with his steal and finish at the rim with 6 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, he went from hero to partial goat (not GOAT), proving unable to stay with Paul George off the screen and fouling him on the game-deciding 4-point play.
Huge defensive play and steal from Jimmy Butler. Sixers up 115-113. What a game. pic.twitter.com/WKtlWOcQuS— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 19, 2019
Landry Shamet: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
All three of Shamet’s shot attempts were 3-pointers, went in, and came in the second quarter, part of an 11-3 Sixers run when it looked like Oklahoma City might be in danger of running away with things. It’s good to have another data point to show that the rookie doesn’t wilt under the bright lights of a big game.
Who is your Saturday afternoon Bell Ringer?
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