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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 57

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The Sixers still can’t solve the Celtics

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

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

Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 21
Ben Simmons - 16
Jimmy Butler - 7
JJ Redick - 6
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1
Corey Brewer - 1

Even with Kyrie Irving unavailable, the Sixers fell to 0-3 on the season against the Celtics, losing 112-109 Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Maybe someday Philadelphia will be able to beat Boston in a sporting contest not involving Nick Foles. Until then, all we can do is vote for the Bell Ringer in a losing effort.

Jimmy Butler: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover

Part of the reason the Sixers wanted to acquire Butler was for him to create offense in games like this one — tight, grind-it-out affairs. Jimmy answered the call Tuesday night, providing the most consistent source of offense for the Sixers and finishing 7-for-12 from the field. Whether he was aggressively driving to the hoop for a bucket or a foul, or throwing down a one-handed putback dunk, things generally went well for Philadelphia when Butler had the ball in his hands. Shame about that 1-for-3 trip at the foul line late in the game, but can’t fault Jimmy when he played such an excellent overall game.

Ben Simmons: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers

It was a Ben-Jammin’ evening, as Simmons flushed home a handful of dunks as part of a 7-for-9 shooting night. He mostly set aside the ‘advance with his jumpers’ agenda, apart from an early airball on a turnaround, and focused on getting to the rim and finishing with power. The 2-for-7 line at the charity stripe wasn’t particularly helpful, though, and included a key miss on a potential and-one play in crunch time. Still, it was another better performance against Boston than last spring when he fell into such a funk that ‘play T.J. over Ben’ was a real thing. Progress.

JJ Redick: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers

This wasn’t one of Redick’s better games; he took a couple weird shots and made some uncharacteristic turnovers. But he still shot 4-for-8 from 3-point range, making three treys in the second half, which helped the Sixers remain close on a couple occasions when it looked like Boston might pull away. The Celtics did successfully seek out Redick on the other end of the floor, though, and he also picked up a dumb technical foul for tossing the ball in disgust in the fourth quarter. The extra point ended up making a difference in a tight one-possession game.

Joel Embiid: 23 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

For three quarters of the game, Joel Embiid got absolutely worked by Al Horford — he said after the game he was sleepwalking and that’s on him. Whatever he wants to say, it’s concerning that the team’s best player routinely goes from Superman to Clark Kent against the Kryptonite of Celtics green. Horford pulled Embiid out of the paint and knocked down shots, whereas Joel struggled on the offensive end, unable to establish position down low and clanking his own outside looks. His few brights spots early on involved chasedown blocks of Marcus Morris in the first quarter and Jaylen Brown in the third.

The final frame was a different story, however. Embiid scored 15 points in the quarter, including an 8-point flurry in a 3-minute span. With JoJo gesturing to the crowd with an exasperated ‘finally’ look on his face, the Sixers faithful exploded when the refs whistled Horford for an and-one against Embiid that put Philadelphia back up one with two minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the whistles fell silent on the pivotal no-call in the final minute. It would have been fun to see how this one could have ended if that call was made.

T.J. McConnell: 9 points, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover

Like with Redick, the Celtics surgically attacked mismatches involving McConnell on the defensive end. I’m not sure what T.J. can really do about that, though, and he played well otherwise. McConnell shot 4-for-6 from the field, weaving in for one of his seemingly automatic 10-footers, and even pulling out a baseline drive for a lay-up that seemed to catch his defender by surprise. Toss in a 3J sighting and a well-timed strip of Gordon Hayward in transition to prevent a bucket and fire up the crowd — not everybody can do that, Baron Davis.

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer from Tuesday night’s defeat?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Jimmy Butler
    (435 votes)
  • 7%
    Ben Simmons
    (46 votes)
  • 2%
    JJ Redick
    (13 votes)
  • 6%
    Joel Embiid
    (40 votes)
  • 11%
    T.J. McConnell
    (70 votes)
604 votes total Vote Now