The Sixers went 3-1 last week following a loss that may or may not have happened. Joel Embiid didn’t play, so it was more of a friendly scrimmage that the Nets took a little too seriously. Nonetheless, the three wins had some glowing positives. Defeating the Denver Nuggets on TNT on Tuesday, followed by beating the Celtics IN Boston again on TNT Thursday. Then Harry Styles dropped his new album, a feature story on Matisse Thybulle was written, some familiar Liberty Ballers faces are leaving :( and the Sixers beat the Pelicans, powered by the Big Three all scoring 20+ points. So let’s look at the sexiest Sixers from this past week…
Sexer #1: Joel Embiid
After a frustrating game against Denver, when the big man went for a mere 22/10/6, he voiced his self vow to be more mature than he was last year. Good intentions, so far, not great results. But things changed after that Denver win, as Joel responded by shipping up to Boston and absolutely feasting for 38/13/6 and only two turnovers in 36 minutes. That was probably the most lively Embiid has looked for a full game all season long, and it showed postgame when Embiid posted a picture of him doing a Tiger Woods celebration after nailing a three, simply captioned “Fun”
While Embiid has been self conscious about his maturity on and off the court, it’s almost the most imperfect timing for a change of ways. While most Sixers victories now feature a large chunk of the team posting and commenting on Instagram, Embiid is nowhere to be found. It’s unfortunate that the main usual suspect of Instagram posts is now absent when the entire rest of the team is posting #content.
However, if Embiid needs to go through the process of learning who he is and who he wants to be, then we must let him. Surely it will come to fruition eventually.
For more on Joel and his battle with maturity, Liberty Ballers’ Dave Early wrote a piece about the big man’s development.
Sexer #2: Tobias Harris
The… All-Star? The forward has slowly silenced questions about his hefty contract as he makes more and more strides to become a consistent “star” in this league. His abysmal shooting slump in the beginning of the season has hampered his on paper numbers. His three-point percentage is still only cracking 31 percent, despite being a 40 percent shooter from three in his last 17 matches.
Harris is currently tied with Joel Embiid on the team for Wins Added this season (2.77) — they trail Ben Simmons for the team lead at 2.85 Wins Added. Harris is also drastically improving his PIPM this season. His 2018-19 PIPM finished at just +0.05. This season he has improved to +1.98. This season, he has made the 18th best jump as a player league wide. Much of that probably has to do with his vow he made to improve on the defensive side of the ball. His DPIPM is at a whopping +1.29 (4th best on the team), but his three superiors are Joe Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Al Horford, who are all known for their defensive prowess. Advanced stats and eye test can demonstrate the noticeable strides that Tobias has made on defense. This is an imperative step for the wing looking to make his first All-Star game in his career.
Tobias still had time to stop into a North Philadelphia school to read to some kids too :)
Y’all @tobias31 out here at Bethune Elementary School reading to kindergarteners and I can’t take it ☺️ ☺️ #ilovemyredshoes music https://t.co/dk7vPP585L pic.twitter.com/ZpYtngY8ck— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 16, 2019
Sexer #3: Matisse Thybulle
Thybulle will probably always end up on this list because he’s just a perfect human being. Not as much on court stuff here, more off-court overall wholesomeness radiating from every fiber in his body stuff. HOWEVER, the on-court stuff was headlined by this ferocious yam on a Plumlee (we’ll truthfully never know which Plumlee it was).
That dunk was tough, @MatisseThybulle pic.twitter.com/M4Wv3fQXSC— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 11, 2019
But the main reason for Matisse’s inclusion on the Sexers list this week is because of his incomprehensible trait of simply being an outstanding human being.
In Keith Pompey’s feature story on Thybulle, it’s apparent that Matisse is one of the most genuine and thoughtful humans on the planet, who also happens to be an exceptional basketball player. Reading about Thybulle truthfully makes me want to be a better person.
I’m not sure another human on earth deserves to succeed as much as Matisse Thybulle does.
Sexer(s) #4: Jackson Frank and Adam Aaronson
In bittersweet news this week, two Liberty Ballers writers are spreading their journalistic wings and moving on from LB to pursue other writing opportunities.
The supremely talented wordsmith Jackson Frank is going to be doing NBA Draft coverage for The Step Back and Dime UPROXX, covering Gonzaga men’s basketball for THE Athletic, along with some Sixers coverage on THE Athletic too :)
Working and talking with Mr. Jackson Frank for his year and a half at Liberty Ballers has been a blessing for me personally. I was able to learn so much from Jackson about scouting, advanced stats, journalism, basketball, and life in general. (This is sounding more like a eulogy than I wanted it to) I’m eager to keep reading literally everything Jackson writes for the foreseeable future, as he is without a doubt one of the great journalistic basketball minds on twitter.
Adam Aaronson, or “SixersAdam” as many people know him, is also moving on from Liberty Ballers. If you aren’t active on twitter or just didn’t catch the abundance of jokes, Adam is very young, and very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good at what he does, without considering his age.
The king of substitution patterns has an incredibly bright future and much like I am with Jackson, I am eager to read literally everything Adam writes for the foreseeable future.
OTHER SEXER THINGS
Per usual. Norvel Pelle had some bonkers blocks.
Norvel Pelle said NOT TODAY! ♂️#PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/PPxtgZedvt— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 16, 2019
CAN I GET A PELLE YEAH.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 14, 2019
Norvel Pelle with a block party in South Philly. | @Wendys pic.twitter.com/Yr5jBgBVdl
This week, the Sixers look to stay the only undefeated team at home with games against the Heat, Mavericks, and Wizards (all at home).