40.6 eFG% (per Cleaning The Glass)
The Boston Celtics eFG% was a measly 40.6%, dragged down in large part by their woeful shooting from deep, hitting just seven of their 26 three-point attempts. And the Sixers didn’t hold the Celtics to the worst eFG% of any team that’s played a game so far simply due to some unlucky variance for the Celtics (although the Celtics did have a few wide open looks that just didn’t go). Philly made Boston uncomfortable on many of their attempts from behind the arc, and Josh Richardson in particular was very effective, using his length to bother shooters, recovering from going over screens with strong trailing contests, and closing out on shooters hard but under control:
32.0 OREB% (per Cleaning The Glass)
For as lousy as the Celtics were shooting the ball, the Sixers weren’t too impressive either with an eFG% of 47.6%. But hey, who needs a high conversion rate when you’re going to rebound nearly a third of your misses anyway? Philly scooped up 32.0% of their own misses and totaled 17 second-chance points. The Sixers can’t count on offensive rebounds as part of a game plan. But it just goes to show how they can use their size to their advantage in an NBA where teams are looking to get smaller, especially in a gritty game like last night where buckets aren’t easy to come by. Hustle plays are invigorating for the whole unit and the Sixers showed as a team that they’re willing to do the dirty work to secure a win.
68.8 FG% (per NBA.com)
Ben Simmons was not going to be deterred last night, getting to the rim at will on his way to a field goal percentage of 68.8% on 16 attempts. Simmons was decisive and aggressive, strategically picking his spots to score. There were multiple occasions in which the driving Ben Simmons of yesteryear would have picked up his dribble and pivoted back toward the perimeter to pass out of his drives; but the Ben Simmons of last night went to the hoop with a plan and quick decision making. The sort of layups and floaters we usually see Ben fling at the rim just sort of hoping for something good were instead executed with precision and purpose. To be clear, his shots still looked a bit wonky at times, but there were moments when he showed a scorer’s touch. His performance reiterated some his recent comments: he knows what he’s good at and he’s focused on getting even better at those things.
+6 in final 10:46... without Joel (per I can do my own math, thank you very much)
With 10:46 left in regulation, Joel Embiid found himself in foul trouble and Brett Brown swapped him out for Al Horford. At the time, the Sixers led by eight points, 77-69. Over that final 10:46, Joel would not touch the floor again — the Sixers didn’t need him. Philly ended up winning the game 107-93, registering a +6 in the time (10:46) Joel was off the floor in the final quarter. Yes, you read that correctly: the Sixers built upon their lead over nearly an entire quarter without their plus-minus king. This small moral victory may have freed the entrapped ghost of Greg Monroe from the minds of each and every Sixers fan. And the load management?! Oooh, the load management.
19 minutes (per NBA.com)
Furkan Korkmaz played 19 minutes in this game. Kork didn’t do much in the box score, scoring just three points thanks to a single attempt from deep, but he certainly looked more comfortable than he has at times in the past. When asked about Korkmaz’s role, Brett Brown said that he needs to “grow a bomber”. So, Korkmaz is going to get his shot to contribute seemingly by default and we’ll see just how long his leash is soon enough. If he’s ready to seize the “bomber” role, it’ll do wonders for the 2nd unit and could open up the team’s options in the trade and buyout market.