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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 1 - Bigger Sixers Squash Celtics

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82-0 is still in play!

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We are back for Year 2 of our Sixers Bell Ringer series. As a reminder, this feature will appear following wins, losses, moral victories, and games where the confetti cannon goes off to celebrate a victory, but the team actually goes on to lose. Every game, you get it.

As you may recall, the Bell Ringer doesn’t have to be the player that scores the most points or has the best stat line, though it absolutely can and often will be. You can vote for someone who makes a critical play down the stretch, puts the clamps on the opposition’s best player, or has an unexpected or memorable performance where you look back and say, “Oh, yeah. That was the game [so-and-so] did [that].”

Last year, Joel Embiid was the team’s ultimate Bell Ringer during the regular season, while Jimmy Butler (who has since retired in Florida) took top Bell Ringer honors during the postseason.

Who will take pole position for the 2019-20 regular season? Here are your candidates from tonight’s 107-93 victory over Boston.

Ben Simmons: 24 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 turnovers

No, Ben Simmons did not attempt a 3-pointer. Why bother when you can get to the rim at will? Simmons was a terror in transition, looking to push the pace at every opportunity. Unlike previous seasons, Ben didn’t hesitate or pull up from five feet away, instead focusing on staying aggressive and getting all the way to the bucket.

In the half court, Simmons was calm, cool, and collected. He finished with both hands, flushed home a lob, and operated as a fulcrum to set up his teammates. His assist total would have been even higher if his teammates had knocked down a few more open shots off his kick-outs. Finally, how did he possibly make this shot in such a nonchalant fashion while running full speed down the court?

Josh Richardson: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Josh Richardson had his Welcome to Philadelphia moment early in the first quarter when he blocked Gordon Hayward, quickly grabbed the loose ball and drew a foul on the Boston forward, then gestured to the crowd for a raucous ovation. It was the sort of swiss-army-knife-like contribution Richardson provided throughout the game.

Richardson shot just 4-of-12 from the field, but finished 9-of-9 from the foul line, and most importantly, was the primary defender on Kemba Walker, who shot 4-of-18 from the field for just 12 points. As you may recall, Kemba dropped 60 points on the Sixers in a game last season. Quite the difference. The Sixers’ new J-Rich also assumed backup point guard responsibilities, and recorded three stocks. Thank you, Jimmy Butler, for preferring Miami to Los Angeles.

Tobias Harris: 15 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers

There wasn’t really one moment where you would say Tobi took over tonight, but he was steady throughout and contributed in a lot of different facets of the game. He was the only Sixer to make more than one 3-pointer (shooting 2-of-5), he led the team in rebounding, and made some nice plays in the half court as the primary initiator. Most encouraging moving forward, he never looked like a major defensive liability playing more minutes at the small forward position. Harris even had one sequence where he switched onto Kemba Walker in an iso situation and stayed with the star point guard, forcing him into a contested long two (which missed). Solid performance for the former Clipper.

Al Horford: 16 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover

The Sixers made the hilarious decision to troll Boston by having former Celtics big man Al Horford ring the bell before the start of the game. The Celtics went on to miss the kind of contributions Horford brings to the table once the action was underway. Big Al scored off a post-up in the team’s first non-Embiid possession of the game. It was a statement of sorts for the Sixers — this team will not fall apart when Joel hits the bench.

Horford was a willing 3-point shooter, but was off the mark tonight, shooting just 1-of-6 from downtown. However, he was a great facilitator and played outstanding pick-and-roll defense. Fittingly, a hammer dunk from Al in the final minute was the thing that put the nail in the coffin on this victory.

Joel Embiid: 15 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks

This Embiid performance was not what quite what many were expecting when it was announced Enes Kanter was starting opposite him in the pivot. Joel struggled with foul trouble and suffered a lacerated lip that caused swelling, holding him out of media availability after the game.

Still, a player of his caliber will have his moments. In addition to some excellent rim protection, Embiid had a great sequence as part of the Sixers’ third-quarter run. Frustrated by his first flagrant foul of the year, followed by seeing Furkan Korkmaz called for a kicked ball violation when the ball hit his hand, Embiid drop-stepped and spun down the lane for a vicious dunk. One minute later, he hit his first 3 of the season.

Matisse Thybulle: 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 turnover

Matisse missed some lay-ups tonight. He also gambled and was called for a couple unnecessary fouls. But in his first-ever NBA game, Thybulle played 22 minutes and spent most of them covering an All-NBA guard in Kemba Walker. Kemba won that battle on a couple occasions, but we also saw what Thybulle is capable of defensively. The deflections, steals, and blocks are all real, and they are spectacular.

Kyle O’Quinn: 5 points, 1 rebound

With 6:58 left in the fourth quarter, Al Horford picked up his fifth foul. Joel Embiid was already on the bench with five fouls. In past years, this situation would have qualified as a disaster. But now, the Sixers not only have a backup center, they have a backup for their backup center.

O’Quinn entered the game cold and 14 seconds later, canned a 3-pointer from the top of the key. O’Quinn made one 3-pointer all of last season. On the next possession, he pump-faked from the same spot and dished to Josh Richardson for a wide-open 3 (Josh unfortunately missed). Kyle would also finish underneath off a nice feed from Matisse Thybulle. It was a great four minutes of action, reinforcing the depth the Sixers were missing in past seasons at the center position.

Poll

Who is Philadelphia’s Bell Ringer for the win over Boston?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Ben Simmons
    (1746 votes)
  • 5%
    Josh Richardson
    (112 votes)
  • 0%
    Tobias Harris
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    Al Horford
    (14 votes)
  • 0%
    Joel Embiid
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Matisse Thybulle
    (70 votes)
  • 2%
    Kyle O’Quinn
    (46 votes)
2006 votes total Vote Now